GPSIs backed to roll out Fit for Work scheme

A network of GPSIs in occupational medicine should be established to lead the roll out of the Fit for Work service, according to a GP involved in the development of the new sickness scheme.

The Fit for Work service was announced last week by Dame Carol Black, national director for health and work, as part of her overhaul of the current sickness scheme in England.

The service will help GPs offer patients, via an electronic ‘fit note' system, a range of services like physiotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). 

This is designed to get patients back into work as soon as possible and reduce the number of sick notes being issued by GPs.

Dr Robert Hampton, a GP in Leicestershire who was a member of the GP advisory group for Carol Black's review, believes that there is an opportunity for GPSIs in occupational health to be appointed as clinical directors for health and work at PCT level to help in the running of the Fit for Work programme.

Dame Carol and her GP Sounding Board both supported the GPSI proposal but as yet no funding has been made available for it, he said.

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