WORK CONVERSATIONS IN HEALTHCARE

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THE ISSUE

Individuals should receive work-related advice and support when they visit a health professional

The UK government has a target to improve employment outcomes for working-age people with health conditions and/or disabilities

WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO SUPPORT THIS AGENDA

Since the launch of the ‘work as a health outcome’ agenda over a decade ago, many initiatives have been launched

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However, most have not been implemented effectively, and therefore most health professionals still do not have conversations about work

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BARRIERS

No agreement on the content of work conversations, or what effect they should have

Health professionals lack formal training in this area, and are uncertain

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SOLUTIONS

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‘Cultural Awareness’ - promote a widespread understanding of the positive link between work and health through public health campaigns

‘Conversation Starters’ – simple, inexpensive approaches, comprising a few questions about the patient’s work, supported with patient-facing educational material and/or shared-decision making tools

‘Integrated Practice’ – embedding relevant training across the undergraduate and postgraduate (including CPD) curriculum as standard; providing a specialist link to the workplace and relevant support services