Have you used the Fit For Work Scheme?
A new survey has found that around two-thirds (65 per cent) of more than 400 GPs questioned had not referred a single person under the Fit for Work scheme in the last year.
And of those who had used the scheme at some point, 40% said that no one they had referred had successfully returned to work.
Meanwhile, three out of five of those questioned said they were not sure how effective the programme was at reducing long-term sickness absence and 15% described it as very ineffective.
Fit for Work was initially established as a GP-led service but was extended to allow businesses to refer employees in September 2015. It aims to provide free, impartial advice to employers along with an occupational health assessment for staff off sick for four or more weeks, in a bid to reduce the NHS bill for long-term sickness by getting individuals back to work earlier.
It has been suggested that the scheme has been a “wasted investment” and the numbers reflect the lack of publicity around it.