Government reforms (2): Health and work service now ‘fit for work’

sick leave - business man sneezingWhat do we already know?

In our August 2014 Newsletter Government reforms (1): Health and work service we updated you that the Government’s new occupational health assessment service, ‘Health and Work Service’, is due to be launched in late 2014. It will be delivered by Health Management, a MAXIMUS company, which is reported to be the UK’s largest independent health provider. The service will provide occupational health assessments and assist employees to return to work who have been absent for four weeks or more.

What’s new?

The Government has announced that the Health and Work Service has been renamed Fit for Work “to more accurately reflect the nature and impact of the service”.

The Government has also published a report, Exploring future GP referral to Fit for Work, available here, which estimates the likely:

  • numbers of employees that GPs would refer to Fit For Work for assessment;
  • type of patients that GPs would mostly refer; and
  • identify factors which could affect GPs’ willingness to refer employees.

The report finds that GPs surveyed would refer 54% of patients who were deemed suitable for referral. They were less likely to refer patients “with a clear recovery path and who were likely to return to work in due course under their own steam”.