Digital sick notes trial welcomed by GPs’ rep
ANY process which can make the whole health care system more efficient has to be a good thing, says Dr Mat Dorrian, the British Medical Association’s Guernsey representative.
Talking about the trial of digital sick notes by GPs, Dr Dorrian said the idea was based on sound principle and should ease the strain on all parties involved – patient, employer and government.
Doctors are beginning to trial digital medical certificates, which are the first in a line of new digital services being developed by the States as part of the Smart Guernsey programme.
‘Essentially, they are designed to make it easier for patients,’ said Dr Dorrian.
‘Whereas previously if a patient is unwell they have to get a note from their GP and then take one copy to their employer and one to Social Security.
‘Now the patient is able to email a digital version and save themselves time and effort. This will make it easier for people who are willing to use them.
‘Obviously there will be people who are less familiar with technology and they can be assisted and we will still have the paper copies.’
The manner in which the idea has been trialled has also been encouraging, according to Guernsey’s BMA representative.
‘The trial has been done in a pretty good way, taking the views from a variety of people and also trialling across the whole island too. With the GPs piloting it there will be practical issues which may need to be fine tuned but these will be worked out,’ said Dr Dorrian. He said once any issues had been resolved then the trial would go out en masse to all patients.
Dr Dorrian added: ‘Anything based on principles which makes the whole health care system more efficient has to be a positive thing.’