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.

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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 kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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