PATIENT INFORMATION ON PLANS FOR COLLECTING ANONYMOUS FIT NOTE DATA – FEBRUARY 2016
Practices have received a communication from the Health and Social Care Information Centre on the extraction and publication of ‘fit note data’.
The extraction is intended to allow the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to collect data on fit note usage to inform policy development and evaluate the Fit for Work service. This service is designed to support employed people with health conditions.
The information collected will be used to gain a better understanding of sickness absence across England in order that policy can be developed to provide support where it is needed most, helping people with health conditions to return to work earlier.
The data will be completely anonymous to protect patient privacy, it will include:
- How many computer-generated fit notes are issued
- How many patients are recorded as ‘unfit’ or ‘maybe fit’ for work
- Fit note duration
- Health condition
- Whether workplace adaptations were recommended
We will not be able to identify individual patients at any stage
What are fit notes?
Fit notes are issued to patients by doctors following an assessment of their fitness for work. They may be shown to an employer for sick pay purposes or to claim sickness related benefits from (DWP) Department of Work and Pensions. They can be written by hand or produced by computer.
Online links for further information
Information on use of personal data and the options available to patients: www.hscic.gov.uk
The types of information they collect: www.hscic.gov.uk/article/4963/what-we-collect
How they look after information: www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3388/how-we-look-after-information