There have been headlines today about extending fit note certifications to pharmacists, some of which are misleading. We would like to provide some initial clarity to our members.
Enabling legislation is expected to be laid in parliament tomorrow to allow pharmacists and some other healthcare professions to certify fit notes. This legislation will be enacted from 1 July 2022. However, not everybody working within these professions should issue fit notes.
Pharmacists working in patient-facing roles will want to know how this impacts them. This should not affect community pharmacists at the current time as community pharmacy has not been commissioned to certify fit-notes and you will not have access to the necessary health records required to support you in this role. Pharmacists in general practice and secondary care may have a role in certifying fit notes as soon as they are ready after 1st July 2022.
Pharmacists should be working in a suitable environment and have the necessary skills and training to have work and health conversations with people. This task needs to be within their professional ‘scope of practice’, therefore new guidance and training has been developed which will help professionals to identify if this task is suitable for them.
We have issued a statement in response to confirmation from the Department of Work and Pensions today that new legislation will allow pharmacists, to certify fit notes across England, Scotland and Wales.
Over the coming weeks, we will be issuing further communications around this including RPS policy and pharmacy guidance.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can contact our professional support team.