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Working -In Scotland there are 4.9million people of working age (June 2009); in employment in the public sector 632,300 (Q1 2009) and 1.8 million in the private sector. In Scotland there is a total of 152,345 SMEs, (148,770 with less than 50 employees, 3,575 with 50-250 employees). (SMEs are defined as companies where there are 250 or less employees). Excluding central and local government employees, 35% of people working in Scotland do so for enterprises with less than 50 employees; a further 14% work in enterprises with 50-250 employees. Thus 49% of those working in Scotland are engaged in SMEs, (Scottish Economic Statistics 2008). A further 455,600 of the population are on Government Benefits (Jobseekers Allowance, Incapacity/Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support).
Health – The Scottish Government are committed to improving the health of the population. For those in the workplace the main health challenges are mental health issues, problems with muscles, bones and joints; other common health conditions associate with the workplace are skin, respiratory and hearing difficulties.
Services – The availability of occupational health services are found mainly in the public sector and large companies. However, those working in SMEs appear to have more difficulty in accessing a range of occupational health support services. Being aware of this situation the Scottish Government has funded three pilot projects in NHS Borders, NHS Tayside (Dundee), NHS Lothian and to assist those who are employed in SMEs to help them stay in work, or if they are absent from work, help them return to work.
Working Health Services is delivered by the NHS in the above areas and offers access to a specialist workplace team of health professionals who offer a range of services including physiotherapy, psychological services/counselling, occupational therapy, occupational health nurse/advisor and an occupational physician. To be eligible for Working Health Services you must:
a) be in employment with an SME (a company that employs less than 250 people)
b) live in and/or work in NHS Tayside, NHS Lothian or NHS Border regions.
Referrals to Working Health Service Tayside
Telephone: 01382-825100 Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm
e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post: The Project Manager, Working Health Services Dundee, Kings Cross Hospital, Clepington Road, Dundee DD3 8EA
Download Working Health Services Tayside leaflet
Working Health Services Dundee was the first pilot project to be introduced by the Scottish Government and was launched in April 2008 and has received Scottish Government funding for 24 months.
- When you telephone your nearest Working Health Services, the first person you will speak to is a telephone interviewer who will ask you some general questions about yourself.
- Next, your information will be passed to a Case Manager. Within 2 working days the Case Manager will contact you to ask some more detailed questions about your health condition. The Case Manager will then arrange an appointment with you to attend one of the specialist members of the Working Health Service team, usually within 5 working days of you contacting you. Depending on your needs an appointment may be made with a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, psychological/counselling services, an occupational health nurse/advisor or an occupational health physician.
-When you attend for your appointment with a member of the team an assessment of your condition, treatment plan and further appointments, if required, will be given.
-After finishing your course of treatment, you will be asked to complete an evaluation form. We use this information to ensure that Working Health Services are continuously delivering a high quality of service.
-When you have been discharged from the Service we will contact you after 3 and 6 months to enquire about your health and employment status. This information will be anonymised and included in a report and fedback to the Scottish Government.
The teams consist of a range of health professionals who have specific expertise in workplace health issues.
When you access Working Health Services, one of the first people you will speak to will be your Case Manager. It is the Case Manager’s responsibility to make sure that you access the relevant services for your health and employment needs, know exactly when and where your appointments are, undertake any liaison with your GP or other health specialists and to act as a contact point if your employer is aware you have accessed our service. Your Case Manager will also be able to signpost you to other relevant services should you require additional help or support.
If you require physiotherapy the Case Manager will give you an appointment to see an experienced therapist. You will be able to discuss the issues you want resolved. After a physical examination of your signs and symptoms a treatment plan that suits your needs and work commitments will be agreed. X-rays or other investigations, specialist opinions or podiatry assessment can all be accessed if necessary, and your progress will be reviewed to ensure your best chance of recovery.
An Occupational Therapist offers assessment and treatment to clients with both mental health and physical health problems. This assessment will be carried out either at the client’s home (where appropriate), external clinics or the workplace for a specific work assessment. Although the assessment and intervention is work focused, other areas of life such as abilities to carry out day to day activities within and out-with the home, low mood and decreased socialisation will be addressed as often these issues can have an impact on work
Psychological Therapy/Counselling is a process that helps a person step back from a problem and see it more clearly; it is a way of enabling choice or change or of reducing confusion to help you identify your own way forward. The psychologist or counsellor will help you explore and, where possible, resolve difficulties by providing a safe and non-judgemental space in which to talk. The psychologist or counsellor may provide you with information but will not give advice or direct you to take a particular action. Psychology or counselling sessions last around 50 minutes and usually take place weekly or fortnightly. The psychologist or counsellor will discuss with you how many sessions you may require.
If you are concerned about your health and how this may be affecting your ability to carry out your work you may be given an appointment to see an Occupational Health Nurse Advisor (OHNA). At your appointment they will talk to you about your health problems, and any other issues which may be affecting your health such as domestic or financial problems. The Occupational Health Nurse Adviser will also discuss your work in depth with you looking at how your health affects your work and how your work affects your health. This may also include a visit to your workplace. You may also be signposted to other members of the Working Health Services team. With your consent the OHNA may liaise with your GP or Occupational Health Physician to help your progress towards better health.
An Occupational Health Physician is a Consultant in Occupational Medicine and will see you to verify or establish a diagnosis and any future treatment required. They can also refer you to any other medical specialists or can liaise with your GP with your consent.
To read about some of the people Working Health Services visit the links below:
0800 019 2211
Confidential advice and information on a wide range of workplace health issues including Health Promotion, Occupational Health and Safety, Employability and Vocational Rehabilitation.9am-5pm Mon-Thur, 9am-4.30pm Fri.
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