New report could help with deciding on fitness to work; A new tool in being launched tomorrow to help health professionals assess their patient's fitness to work. Here, members of the lead organisations involved in the launch, Ruth Crowder, Philippa Ford and Richard Clark, explain why it will benefit employees, employers and GPs.
PROFESSOR Sir Mansel Aylward will tomorrow help the therapy professions in Wales launch the AHP Advisory Fitness for Work Report at the Wales Therapy Advisory Committee.
The title is a bit of a mouthful but what is it? The AHP Advisory Fitness for Work Report is a tool which can be used by allied health professions (AHPs) such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, chiropodists and podiatrists to assist in assessment and management of people's fitness for work.
The tool is an A4 form which provides an employee, their employer and GP with information which may be used to help keep that employee in work or to be signed off, usually for a specified length of time, while they recover from injury or illness. It has been embedded in the professional body websites of allied health professions so their members can easily access the forms, fill them in and provide their patients or clients with a printed copy to take away as well as being suitable to send electronically to the GP.
It is appropriate for a physical or mental health work-related issue to help employers, GPs and the patients or clients themselves to understand practical modifications which may help an individual remain engaged with or return to work.
It is designed to be clearly recognisable and easily read with contact details for employers to follow up recommendations with practitioners (therapists) if necessary.
What about the "Fit Note"? The AHP Advisory Fitness for Work Report cannot be used to sign people off sick. Only the Statement of Fitness for Work (fit note) which replaced Med3 in 2010, and signed by a doctor, can be used to claim ill-health benefits.
As with the fit note, the new tool will require AHPs to state if people are "not fit for work" or "may be fit for work" if certain advice is followed.
The report can be used by employees as evidence to claim for sick pay from employers for short-term absence and people can present it to their GP as supporting evidence when their doctor is completing a fit note.
Initially, the tool is being used by occupational therapists, physiotherapists, chiropodists and podiatrists but all AHPs will be able to use it once they can demonstrate skill competence and expertise in using such a report.
The three professions that designed it are the most engaged with occupational health and play an important role in keeping people fit for work or helping them back to work.
Following the successful launch in England earlier in the year, this launch in Wales provides the welcome opportunity to offer the tool through the medium of Welsh.
| Ruth Crowder is the Policy Officer for The College of Occupational Therapists in Wales, Philippa Ford is the Public Affairs and Policy Officer for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in Wales and Richard Clark is the Policy Officer for the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists in Wales.
The AHP Advisory Fitness for Work Report won't replace sick notes but can be used as supporting evidence
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|Publication:||Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Jun 3, 2013|
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