Norfolk nurse campaigns for law change on sick notes
06:30 17 September 2012
Archant © 2012
A Norfolk nurse is campaigning for a change in the law so that advanced nurses with extra skills would be able to sign sick certificates.
Advanced nurse practitioners who have had prescribing training are currently able to assess and treat patients and prescribe some drugs, however they are legally unable to sign a sick certificate should that patient need time off work.
Hayden Marriott, a nurse practitioner at Brundall Medical Centre, has now started up a petition and wants to raise awareness among the public because he feels changing the law would enable the cash-strapped NHS to use its resources more efficiently.
Mr Marriott, from Thorpe End, said: “The situation is extremely frustrating for the patient who, having been assessed and treated by a suitably qualified professional, has then to see another member of the team should they need a period of absence from work.”
He added: “Nurse prescribers are trained and trusted to manage a patient’s care, prescribe drugs or even admit them to hospital, but cannot legally sign a document which allows the patient time off work for that same condition.
“At a time when the whole issue of sick certification is under scrutiny it clearly makes sense to assist the patient and make cost-effective use of existing resources.”
To sign the online petition, log on to http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/37139
Are you campaigning for a change in the law? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org