New Fir for Work service launched in South Yorkshire

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A new service to help people with health problems to get back into work has been launched in the region.

GPs and employers in South Yorkshire can now refer staff who have been off work ill for four weeks or more to the Fit for Work service.

Through the Government-funded scheme, the unwell person will be assigned an occupational health professional who will identify obstacles preventing the employee from returning to work and produce a ‘Return to Work Plan’ tailored to the employees needs.

The service was launched after research showed almost one million people are absent for a month or more a year in the UK.

Experts claim a high proportion of these people fail to return to their jobs without the proper support.

Fit for Work is voluntary and offers free and confidential work-related health advice.

Dr Lucy Goundry, clinical lead at Health Management Limited, which will deliver the 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 as well as provide a vital line of support for GPs.”

Employees can speak to a GP about being referred and within two working days will receive an in-depth assessment with a health professional.

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