Forthcoming change to the law will extend fit note certification to physios

The CSP has welcomed an announcement from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that an upcoming change in legislation will enable physiotherapists to certify fit notes in England, Scotland and Wales. 

a physiotherapist making notes in a notepad

In the announcement today – coinciding with new regulations being laid down to deliver the change – the DWP has confirmed from 1 July, a change of the law is planned to come into force. .

It will allow physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses and pharmacists to certify fit notes to their patients in England, Scotland and Wales.  

CSP chief executive Karen Middleton said: ‘We welcome this change in legislation as physiotherapists are ideally placed to have conversations about health and work with patients.

‘The longer someone is off work the less likely they are to return, so physiotherapy expertise at the start of an absence can be crucial for ensuring their rehabilitation is effective and they can get back in a timely manner. So this announcement is good news for patients, with the added benefit being that they don't need to make a separate appointment to get signed off by a GP.’

Recognising the valuable role of physios and other professions

Currently, only doctors are able to legally certify fit notes, but the DWP have stated that the upcoming change to legislation ‘recognises the valuable role other professions have to play in providing health and work advice and supporting people to remain in work where possible.’ 

The upcoming change of law will currently only apply to physiotherapists in England, Scotland and Wales, The DWP have stated that Northern Ireland is intent to mirror the legislation but, given the current political situation, this will be confirmed in the future. 

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