Health, Work and Wellbeing Network

Bringing together people interested in health, work and wellbeing research

Principal Investigator:
Dr Gwenllian Wynne-Jones
Keele University
Tele: 01782 733927 

Funder: Arthritis Research Campaign
Date: 2009

Aims: General practitioners (GPs) typically sanction absence from work by issuing sickness certificates. There has been some debate recently about changing the way sickness certificates are issued and by whom. However, without understanding GPs certification practices, their requirements in terms of training and education, and how they feel the certification process should or should not be changed, measures aimed at improving the system are unlikely to succeed. Objective: To investigate and describe GPs sickness certification practices.

Design: Observational study design involving a cross sectional nationwide postal survey of 2154 UK GPs was conducted. GPs were asked about perceived certification practices, training in sickness certification, their opinions about the certification process and potential to improve the system. GPs will be randomly selected from the Binleys database of over 10,000 GP practices. All 130 GPs from Stoke-On-Trent primary care trust will be invited to participate.