Responding to confirmation from the Department of Work and Pensions today that new legislation will allow a wider range of healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, to certify fit notes across England, Scotland and Wales, RPS President Professor Claire Anderson said:
“Pharmacists are taking on increasingly clinical roles, and the provision of a fit note may be an appropriate part of a consultation with a patient. However, we have a number of concerns that must be addressed to enable pharmacists to provide fit notes.
“First, although pharmacists working in general practices have access to medical records, this is not the case for community pharmacists: it is essential that this is changed to ensure pharmacists have access to all the information required to be able to safely issue a fit note.
“Second, pharmacists already have a significant workload so additional roles must be properly planned for and funded services developed.
“Finally, it is essential that the public is given clear information about where fit notes can be obtained from and not misled that they can be provided by all pharmacists.”