Employee health needs firms' help

Work overlap between GPs and occupational health physicians means many employers fail to recognise who is best to help their employees, doctors have warned.

Dr McMahon: support employees (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)
Dr McMahon: support employees (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)

Cleveland GP Dr Rachel McMahon, of the BMA junior members forum, said it was in patients' interest to be directed to the most appropriate physician for their needs.

Employers should be signposting employees to occupational health physicians, and not just GPs, she argued.

Dr McMahon told the conference: '(Occupational health physicians) can undertake a proper assessment of the risks of patients' specific workplace, and any health problems they may have that could impact on that workplace.'

Dr John Canning, a member of GPC, said he was 'absolutely disgusted' with the state of the occupational health service in the UK and urged companies to improve support for employees.

'A message for the CBI: it constantly criticises us GPs for giving people sick notes, and for all the problems about sick notes,' he said.

'The problem isn't with us, the problem is with it. It needs to get its act together. It needs to get occupational medicine sorted out.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus