Having a Fit

“Fewer people could be signed off work under plans for new “fit” notes, in a move to tell employers what jobs sick staff can still perform.” Daily Telegraph 25/11/08

So if we’re no longer pulling “sickies”, will it change what “pulling a fitty” means?  And what does it mean?  How do they imagine that this will change a thing?  We all know and never say, the sicky is, for most, a tacitly agreed, recognised by all sides, emergency holiday.  When it is, the sick note read something like, “Chronic fatigue, a week’s rest prescribed…”

Now the fit note will have to say “Chronic fatigue, fit to: sleep, doze, stare blankly at screen, watch day time telly” or any one of a dozen useless capabilities.

And when someone really does have an injury or illness, will a doctor really be able to, or want to, guarantee they are still fit to perform a different task which the patient probably has less training at?  Does that leave the GP open to be sued when they injure themselves further doing a task that the GP will have had no knowledge of what it physically entails?  Today, with rising incidences of lawsuits, GPs practice “defensive medicine” so on the new “Fit Note” they’ll only be ticking one of the “Fit for:” boxes, “Nothing”.

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