Any quality management system requires the right people at the right place at the right time. CLINICAL GOVERNANCE is an NHS quality management system that aims to continually improve the care provided to patients.
The management of "sickness absence" is an objective for the public sector. In the NHS this is part of the Human Resources performance framework.
Referral of staff for an occupational health assessment should follow established procedures. A referral form is available from hospital occupational health departments, local personnel departments or from the CLINICAL AND EVALUATION UNIT. All staff referred for an assessment should understand fully the purpose of the referral and the likely actions that will ensue. This is part of GOOD MEDICAL PRACTICE.
Typical questions that are asked about an absence are:
How long will the absence last?
What steps should be taken to assist a return to work?
Will a full recovery take place?
Will job modifications be necessary?
Should redeployment be considered?
Will the employee return to work in the foreseeable future?
Rehabilitation back to work often requires a flexible and multi-disciplinary
approach. The threshold for returning to work varies from individual
to individual and according to the nature of the problem and work
Occupational health professionals act to assess and coordinate an appropriate return to work. In cases of disability there may be legal issues to consider.
(Disability Discrimination Act 1995)
Further guidance on the management of absence is available on the web:
Other advice on absenteeism