Getting patients to return to work
I am currently on a flexible GP careers scheme in order to pursue a higher qualification in occupational medicine. I have 15 years' experience and fully appreciate the time pressures GPs work under and patient expectations.
In my occupational physician role, I fully understand GPs' situation with the Med 3, but please seek advice from your occupational health adviser/ department as regards the facilitation of a return to work (RTW).
We know the workplace and work process and can see and examine the patient and formulate a decision as regards a suitable RTW, for example a phased RTW, rehabilitation process, modifications to work process adjustments/restrictions and so on.
For smaller firms without the facility of occupational health advice,I would suggest inquiring (on the Med 3) if management/personnel departments have the provision to offer modified duties to enable an earlier RTW.
Dr Richard Southam
GP and Occupational Health Physician