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People in Guernsey to trial digital medical certificates

The trial will allow people to claim benefits using the internet and remove the need for paper versions. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Archive/PA Images

People in Guernsey could soon get their medical certificates online for the first time.

The trial will allow people to claim benefits using the internet and remove the need for paper versions.

The States hope it will speed up the process and encourage islanders to be part of the move towards improved, user-friendly, digital public services.

I very much hope that patients offered the option of a digital medical certificate during the trial will take it up.

It will fast track benefit claims and enable patients to send a digital version of the employer's copy of the certificate to their place of work without delay.

– Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security

A group of GPs from each of the island's practices have volunteered to be part of the trial and will issue digital medical certificates to patients who wish to take part.

GPs have very much welcomed this opportunity to support the development of a digital medical certificate.

Not only will it support patients to claim their benefit more quickly, but employers will be informed about the reason for absence from work more quickly too.

This digital version gives GPs more opportunity to provide employers with advice to support their staff back to work as quickly as possible.

– Dr Paul Williams, Chairman of the Primary Care Committee

The trial is due to start in the coming weeks and employers can expect to receive the first of the digital certificates.

Those involved with the trial will be invited to give feedback which could help shape future versions of the system.

Over the coming year, we will see more services beginning to develop this kind of digital solution. Our ultimate ambition is to improve how people can access our services and our own efficiency, and through that, deliver a better customer experience.

– Paul Whitfield, Chief Executive for the States of Guernsey