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Calls for better use of occupational therapists to reduce burden of sick leave

 

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Calls for better use of occupational therapists to reduce burden of sick leave

NHS workers take on average 14 days sick leave every year, well above the national average. Stress and depression are cited as the main reasons why and a lack of staff can cause major issues for frontline services.

A new report from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists says the problem could be addressed by employing occupational therapists directly within NHS occupational health services where they can provide specific vocational interventions and workplace modifications to get staff back to work. This is already happening at hospitals in England and Wales. The report also calls for changes to the primary care networks additional roles reimbursement scheme and GP fit note legislation to make it easier for people to get advice from occupational therapists via GP surgeries. Ten million GP fit notes are issued every year. For more information please contact Clare.Leggett@rcot.co.uk