School Letter Requests
GP practices have seen an increase in requests from schools to provide medical evidence for either failure of a student to attend school due to illness or for written confirmation of the necessity for a student to take medication or to be able to go to the toilet outside of break times.
Where school nurses are available they should be able to manage / administer over-the-counter medication without the GP providing written confirmation. In the absence of school nurses, the school needs to ensure they have a policy on how minor ailments will be managed in school with over-the-counter medicines provided by parents.
There is no NHS requirement for GPs to provide this type of evidence and with the demand on GP services from the public, GP’s unfortunately do not have the capacity to provide such information.
Furthermore, the security of the relationship between patients and medical professionals needs to be maintained. Your medical record is private and confidential and this should be considered before being shared with any third-party.
In addition, if a child has been absent from school for any length of time and has not been seen by the NHS (GP Practice, Hospitals, etc.) then we would be unable to provide a written statement to say the child has been seen. As a result, Parents are then having to obtain such documentation by booking GP appointments for self-limiting illnesses that they are comfortable managing, purely to obtain a letter for the school. This is a waste of scarce NHS resources.
There will still be circumstances where a letter from us is appropriate. However, before the practice is engaged, there is an expectation that the parent(s) and the school will meet face-to-face beforehand in order to discuss and hopefully resolve the concern without the need for the practice to be involved.
If a letter is still required for the child’s specific medically related issues (that we have records of), there may be a charge for this letter. This charge will need to have been agreed in advance between the school and the parent as to who will meet any associated fees.
If a GP is still required, please complete our Private Work Form and a member of our admin team will contact you to discuss your request further.
A copy of the letter below has been sent to the Headmasters of the local schools within the practice's catchment area.
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