Sick notes and certify death
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I work in secondary care as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner on a busy General Surgery directorate, primarily it is run by an ACP team and don’t regularly work with junior doctors. I am a nurse by background.
Unfortunately, we cannot sign sick notes due to the law being it has to be a medical doctor. However, this massively delays discharges in secondary care and reduces patient satisfaction. It is also time consuming, as it can take some time to find a Doctor to sign it and that is if they are happy to. This takes us away from the rest of our busy workload. I also understand that this is a massive problem in primary care.
We have to ask a Dr to sign it on our behalf, even though they may not know this patient well. This is unsafe and practically not acceptable. How can you sign for something, when you have never met the patient and don’t fully know what they were admitted/treated with?
This to me makes no sense why we as Advanced Practitioners, cannot sign a sick note when we can do much more advanced and complicated skills!
Please help me improve patient flow, patient satisfaction and safe our time on the hunt by signing this petition to get ACP’s to be able to sign sick notes.
I also find not being able to certify death is a big barrier. I work as part of an ACP team where, again we don’t work regularly with junior doctors and it is us that looks after the patients on the wards. So unfortunately, when a patient passes - the bereavement office is constantly on our back to chase a medic to sign a death certificate but this is incredibly difficult due to the junior doctors not ever or very rarely coming across the patient. So they are not able to sign! We have registrars and consultants of course, but they have such busy schedules and pretty much spend all of their time in surgery, this tends to take a while for death certificates to be signed and this can be very difficult for bereaved family. How is it we as ACP’s can verify death but not certify? I understand it comes with more responsibility but again we are in Advanced Practice roles and our skills and role is a lot of responsibility.
Thank you for taking your time in reading and hopefully signing!
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