Workers in Bassetlaw who are forced to take sickness absence can now be referred to a new voluntary service by their GP to help them get back to work.
Fit for Work was launched in Bassetlaw and South Yorkshire this week, meaning that residents who have been, or are likely to be, off work for four weeks or more, can be referred with their GP’s consent.
It is a voluntary service which offers free and confidential work-related health advice providing support for workers wanting to return back to work.
Dr Steve Kell, GP and chair at Bassetlaw Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I welcome the Fit for Work Service going live in Bassetlaw. I hope it will be a source of expert help and advice for GPs and their patients to call on, in supporting patients to return to work when they are able do so.”
Employees can speak to a GP about being referred or contact the Fit for Work advice line. Within two working days of a referral, the service say an individual will receive an in-depth assessment with a health professional, which will usually take place over the phone.
Lucy Goundry, clinical lead for the Fit for Work programme at Health Management Limited, which will deliver the new service, said: “GPs are under more pressure than ever to deliver complex services. “
“In such an environment, being able to support patients with high quality occupational health advice that takes a holistic approach, will help patients.“
“GPs have long called for such a service and we are delighted to be able to provide an independent referral service that will make occupational health support accessible to the wider working population.”