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Sickness Absence - good practice


Requests for advice regarding sickness absence may come from various sources:

  • The worker/patient
  • A doctor looking after him/her
  • The employer

Requests for advice may be directed to:

  • The General Practitioner
  • A hospital based doctor
  • An occupational physician
  • Other health care workers in occupational health, and elsewhere

Problem solving: 

What is the problem?

  • This may sound obvious but is not necessarily always the case. Besides explicit concerns, there may be hidden ones...

What information is needed to address the problem?

  • Information about the health status of the worker/patient, based from history or other sources
  • Information about the workplace and the job: The requirements for fitness, and the possible effects of work on health, since this may be a significant contributor to the sickness absence or a hindrance to successful return to work.
  • What about the sickness absence policy, other implications for the worker/patient?
  • What about prospects for rehabilitation (this might need to be considered in much more detail later.

Important questions to answer: 


Outcome and audit:

The individual case:

  • Make a plan for closing the loop - and checking on outcome: Perhaps getting the patient/worker to 'phone you back. What if s/he does not?

Your overall performance:

  • Plan for an audit