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National scheme to “complement in-house OH services”

The Government’s new Health and Work Service will be expected to complement, not compete or conflict with, existing employer-provided occupational health (OH) services, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has suggested.

In reports from the Health and Wellbeing 2014 conference held in March, DWP chief medical adviser Dr Bill Gunnyeon said that case managers working for the new service will be instructed to establish the existence or not of an employer’s in-house OH provision on their first contact with a new patient.

According to “Workplace Savings and Benefits”, which reported from the conference in Birmingham, Dr Gunnyeon said: “Clearly, it is a service that is designed to be complementary to employers’ existing OH services. It will identify where someone is in contact with an employer’s OH service and, equally, in terms of ongoing case management, it may be more appropriate for an employer OH service to do that.

“It will be the responsibility of the service at first contact to identify whether the individual is engaged with the employer OH service, whether there is an OH service at the employer and actually look at how things are facilitated at that OH service so that we avoid the potential for conflict.”

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