Coronavirus General Information

With the rising cases of Covid-19 cases in response the following have ceased or extended to support the workload:

Fit Note extension period

The Department of Work and Pensions are making legislative changes meaning that from Friday 17 December 2021 self-certification for sickness will be extended from 7 to 28 days for people accessing Statutory Sick Pay, and there will be no requirement for a fit note to access other benefits. This time limited change will end on 26 January 2022. Further guidance on this is available. Whilst we expect this to cover the vast majority of fit note requests, GPs may continue to receive some for access to occupational sick pay depending on individual contractual arrangements.

Prescription charge medical exemption certification

The Department of Health and Social Care will temporarily suspend the re-certification requirement for existing prescription charge medical exemptions but retain this requirement for newly diagnosed patients. NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) will contact patients with existing medical exemptions that are due to expire between 16 December and 26 January and supply a new certificate extending their exemption for a further six months. Some people requiring renewals may have already received a reminder and have arranged with their GP surgery for this form to be signed. If this has not yet been done, no action needs to be taken.

Firearms licenses

The Home Office has written to the main shooting organisations to request where possible, that firearms certificate applicants who are about to submit a request wait until January before requesting the relevant medical information from their GP or from an independent doctor. We anticipate the vast majority of applicants (for example new applications for non-work purposes) will be able to wait.

The Home Office would be grateful, if a person has a particularly urgent application, for example, because of work commitments or the imminent expiry of their certificate, if practices could still consider providing the information.

DVLA checks

The Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) has suspended requests for medical information for the provision of drivers licences until the 12 January (excluding essential workers e.g. bus and lorry drivers).

Scam emails are in circulation purporting to be from the NHS and informing the email recipient that they can apply for their Coronavirus Digital Passport.

Vaccine Passport Scam information

Easy Read Vaccine Guide

This leaflet provides an easy read guide about the coronavirus vaccine (External PDF Link)

Guidance for wearing a mask / face covering

Due to the recent Government guidance on wearing face coverings whilst using public transport and in public spaces. GPs are not in a position to provide risk assessments or letters for patients who may be exempted wearing a face covering. Government advice on the use of face coverings can be found here:

Patients needing to travel on public transport in London may wish to print-out a self-exemption card which has been approved by TfL. This can be displayed on clothing or a lanyard. It can be found here:

Top Tips to keep hydrated during COVID-19

Click here to download these tips

Vulnerable Groups of High Risk Covid-19

Updated guidance for patients currently shielding

Some people are at a higher risk of Covid-19 infection and are in the VULNERABLE group, these patients are:

  • age 70 or older
  • aged under 70 with an underlying health condition (i.e. anyone advised to get an annual flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds)

Registering as a Carer / unpaid Carer for vaccination programme:

Should you wish to register as a Carer / upaid carer, please complete and return the attached letter. This will then be added to your patient records.

You must include with this letter one of the following:

  • Carers allowance statement
  • Attendance allowance statement
  • Letter signed and dated by the individual being cared for, confirming that you are their named carer.

Unpaid Carers Letter

If you are not already registered with CarersBucks, you can asked to be referred to them via the following link:

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