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RCGP gets £1million to help GPs get people back to work

By Gareth Iacobucci

The RCGP has secured a £1million cash boost to support GPs in helping patients to return to work.

The Department for Work and Pensions has given the College a contract to roll out a National Education Programme of nationwide workshops, to help GPs increase their knowledge, skills and confidence in dealing with clinical issues relating to work and health.

A series of interactive half-day workshops – taken by RCGP-trained GPs and specialist Occupational Health Physicians, will offer GPs support, skills and strategies for managing difficult consultations.

From next month, around 100 -150 workshops will be delivered over a two year period by the College's local and regional Faculty offices, with the aim of providing training and support for between 3000 and 4500 GPs.

RCGP chairman Steve Field said: ‘This is a major boost for the College and for GPs. Tackling health inequalities is a big priority for us and helping people to remain in or return to employment is clearly one of the best ways of improving the mental, physical and economic well-being for our patients.'

‘However, helping patients return to work can put GPs in a difficult and stressful situation and many GPs worry about consultations on this issue. The National Education Programme will remove many of the anxieties and concerns by giving GPs increased confidence to approach and deal with difficult situations and to make the best decisions for patients in the long-term.'

‘As it has been developed by GPs for GPs, those attending the workshops can be confident that it will be time well spent and that they will come away with effective strategies for dealing with work related issues that they can then share among other members of the primary care team.'

Lord McKenzie, Minister for Work and Pensions, said: ‘We know work is good for you - now more than ever it's important to help people with health issues remain or stay in work so that they can support themselves and their families. This initiative will support doctors to do just that.'

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