Tag Archives: occupational health

Should Occupational Health become a part of the NHS?

Proposal to incorporate OH into the NHS

Occupational physician Ian Torrance and Faculty of Occupational Medicine president Richard Heron recently suggested in BMJ editorial that ‘integration of the clinical specialty of occupational health (OH) into the NHS is long overdue’. Their argument was based on a viewpoint that current OH provision in UK puts employees of smaller companies and the unemployed at a disadvantage. Continue reading

HAVS – Hand-arm vibration syndrome

Using certain types of tools creates vibration, which transmits to the operator’s hands and arms. Prolonged exposure to hand-arm vibration can cause serious medical issues and trigger HAVS – hand-arm vibration syndrome. Employers, whose staff uses vibration tools, such as drills, chainsaws, strimmers, sanders and power mowers, must carry out risk assessments and annual health surveillance to monitor and minimise the risks. Continue reading

Do you understand the Fit Note?

Fit Note – 5 years on

The Fit Note was introduced in 2010 and it has been in use for a little over 5 years. IOSH, the Chartered body for health and safety professionals recently conducted a study into the Fit Note titled‘Getting the best from the fit note’, which found that there is still widespread misunderstanding about the notes.  Continue reading

How useful are GP reports during sickness absence?

We recently wrote a comparison of OH and GP reports here on our blog but, looking at this topic from another angle, how useful are GP reports? We often find that managers will request a GP report as well as an OH report and it is perhaps useful to understand what you can expect to benefit from a GP report. During the recent Wellbeing @work exhibition, we listened to a very interesting talk by Dr Lucy Wright who discussed this issue. Continue reading

Can you trust a telephone Occupational Health assessment?

Telephone assessments have become the common approach to Occupational Health. Honeydew Health also now recommends teleconsultations in many cases and we often face some resistance from managers who are new to the telephone appointments. Here is our list of useful facts and frequently asked questions about telephone assessments in OH case management. Continue reading

GP report vs OH report

So you have an employee who is absent with a long term ill health condition. As the manager you wonder what the future looks like for the employee. What is their prognosis? When are they likely to be able to return to work? Will they be able to do their job in full when they return? Will adjustments be needed at the workplace? Basically, you need medical advice.

As an employer, there are generally two avenues to go down in order to get a doctor’s advice when an employee is absent or suffers from ill health at work. Either you write to the employee’s GP or NHS specialist or you send them to see an Occupational Health Physician (OHP) or Nurse. Which option should you choose? It helps to understand what you can expect from the GP versus the OHP. Continue reading

New hire health screening

Absencehub’s creators, Honeydew Health, also work on another software product in their spare time. Whilst Absencehub and Engage are all about planned and unplanned absence, our Case Management portal, Resolve, steps in when Occupational Health interventions are needed. We recently launched a new and improved tool for completing new hire health screening. Continue reading

Occupational Health is not a dispute mediation service

XpertHR published an absence related employment tribunal case study (Beastall v Ministry of Defence ET/2404242/14) to do with an employee who fraudulently used sick leave to perform as a medium. He had been signed off on two separate occasions and it was found that during both episodes he had appeared publicly as an advertised medium. When he didn’t return to work as planned after his fit note ran out, he was suspended under investigation and later dismissed for gross misconduct. Continue reading

Fit for Work now open

We’ve written about this before, but now it’s finally here. Employers in England and Wales are now able to refer employees to Fit for Work, the government service set up to help working people on long-term sickness absence.

Fit for Work provides occupational health services to people who have been, or are likely to be, off work for four weeks or more. It is particularly aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that have little or no occupational health support. Continue reading