We always offer copies of our clinical notes to employees to share with their GPs and specialists. We insist on this where we identify new diagnoses, the opportunity for more effective treatment or where we disagree with sickness certification.
We rarely request GP reports, however as they often add little to our knowledge of an employee’s condition and rarely change our advice on the functional employment implications. The GP’s central role is necessarily to focus more on diagnosis and treatment; occupational health physicians have specific training and experience in determining fitness and the need for any adjustments. Waiting for GP reports also delays decision making and some employees understandably resent the encroachment into their private relationship with their doctor.
Where a medical report is absolutely needed we will usually apply to the employee’s specialist: our experience is that these are usually pragmatic, definitive and evidence-based.
We usually recommend obtaining at least a GP report and often a specialist report ahead of an employee being dismissed on grounds which might relate to health.