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Case Conferences in Occupational Health

What is a case conference?

A case conference is a face to face, or virtual, meeting between the employee (and trusted friend or union representative if requested), an Occupational Health (OH) professional, the line manager and an HR representative.


A case conference allows the health issues, which OH may already have provided guidance to the employer and employee via written reports, to be further discussed, to enable common understanding and facilitate progression towards a solution agreeable to all parties.


Case conferences are an effective tool to resolve or avert long-term problems with fitness for work.


When should an employer consider utilising a case conference

Case conferences may be of particularly help in cases regarding long-term sickness absence; challenges with facilitating a return to work due to workplace issues or complex physical or health conditions. It may also be useful where further clarification or discussion regarding previously provided occupational health guidance or advice is required.


Case conferences will ONLY be undertaken by Insight Workplace Health following the provision of a written (OHA or OHP) report.


Who should attend a case conference?

The following should normally be present at the case conference:


The employee

*The employee's representative

The Line Manager

An HR representative

An occupational health advisor/physician (OHA/OHP)


What happens during a case conference?

Case conferences are normally arranged with at least seven days' notice for the employee and can be arranged face to face or virtually depending upon clinician availability. Generally, they will be organised at the request of the line manager or HR representative but may also be suggested by the OH clinician, for example in cases where individuals have been seen on multiple occasions with limited progress in recovery or management of their symptoms.


The employer should ensure that the employee is fully aware of why their care is progressing to provision of a case conference and what will happen during the meeting (see below), prior to making any booking via the portal.


A case conference will normally last about 45 min, for complex cases you may wish to request up to 1.5 hrs. It will be chaired by the OH clinician, who will have a contacted the employee for a brief conversation (about 5 min) prior to the case conference taking place. This call allows the clinician to obtain an update on any relevant health/clinical information and to clarify what health information may need to be discussed (shared) during the meeting. Only information which the employee consents to sharing with the employer will be disclosed by the clinician.


The OH clinician will make appropriate clinical notes during the consultation; however no report will be generated, the employer may wish HR to arrange for minutes to be taken to record any key decisions taken during the meeting.



The outcomes of the meeting need not be pre-determined and may depend on the discussion undertaken during the meeting, relevant objectives and the expectations of employer and/or employee.


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