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

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

SOLUTIONS

‘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