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GPs offered advisory service to help with long-term sick

GPs will be able to refer patients with complicated problems that keep them off work to a new advisory service, the Government has announced.

Launching in 2014, the major new service will provide assessments and advice to GPs, employers and the employee to help those on sick leave get back into the workplace.

Dr Rob Hampton, Leicestershire GP and occupational health expert said: ‘At last GPs will be able to refer complex cases of sickness absence in the same way as they can seek specialist healthcare advice for their patients.

‘The way the service will be commissioned is yet to be decided but I am hopeful that GPs, through CCGs and health and wellbeing boards, will have a significant influence on shaping the service.’