Fit for Work: A guide for managers and personnel officers to assess and support health professionals who have medical conditions or disabilities

This guide is for managers of health professionals who include doctors and dentists, nurses and allied health professionals.

We hope this guide will make it easier for you to select, support and performance-manage health professionals to the benefit of the individuals and the organisation. We know from research that health professionals, and especially doctors and dentists, are not always good at assessing the effects of their health on their work. Nor does their training teach them what adjustments and supports they might reasonably expect from their employer when unwell or if affected by a condition causing temporary or permanent disability or functional impairment. Please feel free to share this guide with your employee.

In the guide we help you understand the (negative) impact health conditions can have on health professionals’ functional status and therefore the potential impact on their performance and attendance at work. This guide will help you understand what simple, practical adjustments you can provide to support your employee through this time, thereby maximising their productivity and minimising recovery time. We describe general strategies for you to use to support your health professionals, and specific strategies for several common conditions with case studies to illustrate.

To give you a solid basis from which to offer suitable adjustments we have divided this guide into three sections. Health Conditions takes you through some common conditions in detail and provides case studies for these and other conditions to illustrate the impact health can have on an individual’s ability to do the job, with suggestions where practical solutions influenced the outcome; Job Groups sets out the functional requirements of different tasks commonly required of health professionals, and offers a structured template to enable you to identify the tasks contained in a healthcare role and hence the functional capability needed from the health professional (and where adjustments might be considered to accommodate an individual’s health condition); and Adjustments and Support lists general adjustments and sources of further practical advice to allow you to tailor your support most efficiently in each individual case.

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Acknowledgements

Thanks go to the multidisciplinary team of authors that has produced this Fit for Work guide. They represent a wide range of expertise within occupational health and a wide range of organisations concerned with occupational health delivery, support or training. Click here for a full list of contributors

 

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