Anxiety, been signed off work and my employer wants a medical report? HELP!

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi everyone, I'm very new to this so please be nice! Iv been off work now for 6 weeks with anxiety and low mood. My doctor has put me on Setriline and I'm still struggling. My profession requires me to be somewhat 'on the ball' and it can be extremely stressful. Iv had 'fitness for work' certificates and sent them to my work showing that I'm unfit for work. I'm currently in the process of starting some talking therapy and I will probably be doing CBT.

I got an email from my employer today saying :

"To help us to fully support you with your return to work we would like to obtain a medical report from your GP. We as a workplace have been advised that due to the length of time you have been off, this is the most appropriate next step. This will enable us to have an insight into your conditions and help us to potentially change your working environment to facilitate your return.

Therefore you will be receiving a letter from us in the next couple of days requesting your authority for us to contact your GP."

As you can imagine, this has sent me into complete panic and my anxiety is going wild right now.

What does a medical report mean? What will I have to do? Will they have access to all my medical records? Will I get to see the report? Can I refuse?

My employer knows I'm off with anxiety and low mood, so I don't understand why they are doing this?

Thankyou for any replies!


2 likes, 16 replies

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    I think it means a sick note off doctor basically describing your reasons for being off sick, they are trying to help you get back to work, they need this for proof of statutory sick pay for HMRC and their own records. Don't worry I am in the same position, I need to get a sick note off my doctor but was scared because I didn't want work knowing the ins and outs of how I am, but they have been really supportive and said I can go back to work gradually to ease me back in. Try not to worry.
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  • Posted

    Hi Amber,

    sorry you haven't been well and this email won't have helped. As I don't know who your employers are and what your company policy is I can only speak of my own experiences. I worked for a local authority and to be honesty they didn't have a clue when it concerned mental health. I wish I knew then what I have since learnt. Anyway, just thinking of data protection, they can only request what is relevant to your  situation now, so they will be unable to see all of your medical record. Is it normal for them to request health records if anyone is off for a long time and to be honest 6 weeks doesn't seem to be very long. Do you have a return date, cos if you haven't this request seems a it premature. ACAS are really good so maybe worth a telephone call to them. You are not obliged to. 

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    • Posted

      Give your permission . As you say you have given them sick notes from ur doctor. It maybe that your company have their own doctors and he may liaise with your GP when the time comes to return to work. Take care and don't worry if that's at all possible
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  • Posted

    They want you to give permission to see your file at the doctors, you need not except as they have no right to it and thats why they are asking for permision. You have a note from your doctor saying unfit for work and at the time thats all they need
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  • Posted

    First of all you go to your GP with a copy of this e-mail and ask him what this actually means. He will tell you what will happen when your employer contacts them. (If you can't get to the surgery then call them and tell them what has happened and tell them your concerns) It's not a sensible idea to refuse and your doctor cannot refuse them. How the medical report is made up is down to your GP so you need to try and contact him before your employer does.
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  • Posted

    Thankyou everyone for your replies. I will make an appointment with my gp and see what they think. I think i have to sign something first anyway to give my permission,so until I've been to my gp they won't be allowed to contact them.anyway.

    I'm guessing my gp will go into more depth into why I'm signed off work, which I'm not keen about to get honest. Id rather keep my personal and home life separate from work. They know I'm off with anxiety and low mood, what else do they need to no?!?

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  • Posted

    I've never heard of this but I assume it's just your company covering their backs. I don't think your dr will share any confidential information, it may just be a more detailed account of what aspects of work you are fit for.

    i wouldn't worry about it, maybe give your dr a call and find out what it is?

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  • Posted

    Hi Amber

    1st of all sorry to hear of your current situation

    I too would be asking myself why do they want a medical report when they

    Already know the answer

    Is it a more in depth report

    Or just based on your current situation

    Anything other than this is useless right ?

    they may be trying to establish how much longer your going to be off

    They may be thinking of a phased return

    And any adjustments you may need

    You can ask to see the report

    And if you don't agree with what is written

    You can ask for it to be amended

    If your doctor is ok with you I doubt

    He' ll hinder your employment

    How long have you worked there ?

    What is it that you do ?

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  • Posted


    I had the same thing last year, but it was for a different condition that my workplace were fully aware of. Your GP will write a summary of what's been happening with your condition etc. Just like a statement going over what's been going on etc.

    you don't have to let your employers have it, i refused mine as we're I worked it was a complete gossip shop, even H.R!!! They were fine about it but a little annoyed. I gave them every neurology letter I had, sick notes and kept them well upto date etc.

    Every workplace is different, but I didn't want mine as I felt it was really personal and my GP actually agreed with me.

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    • Posted

      They do not have access to your whole medical record, just what has been the current issue. That was my concern but my doctor reassured me that my medical records are mine and for me and doctors only. Hope this helps smile
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  • Posted

    Iv had numerous panic attacks today about the whole situation. They tried ringing me aswell which has made things alot worse (iv told them I'm really anxious about speaking to people on the phone and I'd rather communice via email)

    It feels like things are getting worse. It feels like they are gathering information to prove I'm not capable of my job. I just need more time off work to try and battle through and it feels like I'm not getting enough of a chance.

    Can they dismiss me as I've been off for a little while? Surely I'm covered by some kind of law when being signed off by a doctor?

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    • Posted

      Hi Amber

      Just read your last post .try and stay

      Positive regarding this situation

      I know it's hard not to make assumptions and throw all sorts

      Of scenarios at your self

      You've done the right thing by seeing

      Your Dr and getting signed off work

      If it gets to a time where you need

      Support regarding your employment

      And to know where you stand

      If your in the UK you can contact CAB ( citizens advice bureau )

      And / or Acas

      I've noticed your not keen on phoning

      So you can email both ( response may be slower )

      But I wouldn't do that until you really

      Needed to

      Hope some of that will help

      Regards daz 101

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