NHS launches online ‘isolation notes’ service for employees

Written by Sam Trendall on 20 March 2020 in News
News

Those unable to attend work will be able to obtain evidence via website or 111 service

Credit: Descrier/CC BY 2.0

The NHS has launched an online service to issue employees unable to attend work with “isolation notes”.

Citizens displaying symptoms of coronavirus, or those who live with someone that is, are advised by government to self-isolate at home – for seven days after the onset of symptoms in the case of the former, and two weeks in the latter case.

Many employers typically ask for staff requiring sickness absence of longer than seven days to provide a doctor’s note or other form of evidence.

To “reduce the pressure on GP surgeries and prevent people needing to leave their homes”, the NHS is now offering an online service allowing citizens to obtain evidence of having been officially advised to self-isolate.


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The service, which requires users to answer a few questions, is available via the 111 online coronavirus service, the NHS app, or the NHS.UK/coronavirus website.

Users can obtain a note for themselves or on behalf of someone else, which can then be emailed to the them, a nominated individual, or directly to their employer.

People claiming Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance are not required to produce an isolation note or other evidence, according to the government.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: “It is absolutely vital we do everything we can to ease the burden on our healthcare professionals, allowing them to spend as much time as possible with those patients that need them most. Digital isolation notes will provide reassurance to those self-isolating and their employers while also reducing the pressure on our NHS, so they can continue doing all they can to protect the people of this country and save lives.”

The isolation note service was commissioned by NHSX and built by NHS Digital.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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