What advice will my GP give me?

How your GP proceeds after discussing your concerns depends on:

  • the diagnosis of your illness;
  • any treatment, counselling or other support you may need; or
  • the likelihood of an early return to work.

Your GP will have to consider the following options, and discuss them with you:

  • Is further diagnosis needed? This may mean further examination by a specialist. Your GP will arrange a referral, and discuss with you whether you should return to work, or provide you with a fit note until the diagnosis is complete.
  • Is treatment required? This may include medication, or referral for physiotherapy, counselling or other specialist support.
  • Should the GP make any recommendations to the employer in the fit note? Your GP may decide with you that a period off work is needed to help your recovery. Your GP can recommend a phased return to work, altered hours, amended duties or workplace adaptations. Any recommendations should only be made after discussing them with you, and only with your agreement. The TUC website has guidance on how to use the fit note (PDF, 236KB).
  • Should the GP advise you to speak to an occupational health therapist? GPs can now refer employees who have been off work for four weeks or more for a free Fit for Work referral with an occupational health therapist. But you as the employee must give your consent before a referral to the Fit for Work service can be made.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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