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Occupational Health or General Practitioner (GP)

Can I just get my employee to visit their GP, to obtain advice about their health rather than Occupational Health?


The services provided by your employees GP and Insight Workplace Health, your occupational health provider, regarding their health are very different.


When an employee is unwell and their physical or mental health and wellbeing symptoms cannot be managed by self-care or over the counter treatments, then the General Practitioner (GP) is normally the first port of call for most individuals.


The GP is a primary care specialist, NHS Direct defines primary care as:


“the first point of contact in the healthcare system, acting as the ‘front door’ of the NHS… and includes general practice, community pharmacy, dental, and optometry (eye health) services.”


Primary care providers make patient assessments, arrange appropriate investigations including blood tests and x-rays etc. and/or referral to appropriate specialists as well as prescribe appropriate medications to treat or manage their signs and symptoms.


Primary care (GP’s) are not usually able to provide employers with a report providing detailed advice to the employer relating to any relevant health condition or workplace adjustments. They will not necessarily have a full understanding of the working environment of your staff, or of any specific risks or control measures which you may have in place or the adjustment which you may or may not be able to accommodate.


Where GP’s feel it is appropriate many will encourage their patients to engage with occupational health, they may make this recommendation upon a fit note, where one is provided. At present most GP appointments are currently about 10 min in duration.


Insight Workplace Health are Occupational Health specialists and as such we are able, following the relevant consultation, to provided tailored health advice to you and your employee on a wide range of health issues.


Guidance from occupational health medicals and assessments will focus on the individual’s functional capacity and take into consideration the hazards they are exposed to in the workplace, given our in-depth knowledge of your industry and where requested information obtained from relevant visits to the site including Discovery Audits


It is important to note that the guidance provided is not necessarily dependent upon obtaining a diagnosis, from the primary care services or a specialist consultant, which may often take weeks or months in the case of more complex health conditions.


Where it is deemed appropriate, occupational health will also refer individuals back to their GP or community mental health team (CMHT), specialist consultant, physiotherapy, talking therapies, or the employee assistance programme (EAP) as necessary.


Early engagement with occupational health services has been shown to be of significant benefit to both the employee and the employer. Furthermore, with OH support the frequency and duration of sickness absence and long-term sickness can be substantially improved.

Contact us here or call us on 01792 321010 if you'd like occupational health to become an extension of your business.

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