Development of Resource to Support Identification of Work Modifications
The Government’s Work and Health Unit (WHU) is pursuing the strategy announced in their 2017 Command Paper to enable one million additional people with disability or long term illness to return to or remain in work. A key part of this strategy involves helping patients to identify work modifications that would enable them to remain in or return to work. The Work and Health Unit commissioned the Council for Work and Health to develop, test and host a resource, which will be freely downloadable from the Council’s website from March 2019. The resource has been designed to support General Practitioners (GPs), enabling them to have work adjustment conversations with patients and to complete advice on Fit Notes. The Fit Note may then be used by employers, with their employees to improve health and work conversations and identify suitable adjustments or work alternatives.
The resource will help understanding of commonly available work adjustments, but also uses case studies to exemplify the adjustments that may help in some of the commonest medical conditions.
The Council appointed a dedicated researcher, who has been reviewing the published research base and collating the experience of Council member organisations and whilst the resource is aimed to assist GPs, it will support any health or other professional, patients and employers in considering work adjustments. 300,000 people a year fall out of work due to ill health or injury and many will never work again. If timely work adjustments can be identified and agreed there is much potential to keep many people in work, and this is therefore an important and valuable initiative for the Council.
The resource is available here and feedback is being sought through a structured questionnaire.
This resource is primarily aimed at GPs to help support their medical consultations and consideration of “Fit note” options, and in particular to emphasise that most work adjustments are simple, practical arrangements.
Occupational Health Workforce project
Following two well received reports, the project team have been planning the third phase of the project. However, following the HWU and Government Command Paper which has been issued to look at the OH workforce, it was agreed that the most effective use of the Council’s resources would be to support the implementation of the Improving Lives Command Paper. A number of Council members are participating in the Expert Stakeholder Group set up by the HWU.