Fit for Work is a new scheme aimed at getting people with health problems back into work, or keeping them in work. We had a flyer about it which I found buried in my inbox, so it seemed worth writing a few notes about.
The scheme is for people who are currently employed, but who either have been or are likely to be off work for four weeks or more and who are willing to be referred (verbal consent is sufficient). They can be referred via the website, whereupon they are assessed by a health professional who produces a Return to Work plan, which can be used in lieu of a fit note. The idea is that the patients have more support in getting back to work and that we have to spend less time writing fit notes as they’re replaced by the Return to Work plans in this instance, so win-win all round. In theory at least. In practice… well, the government don’t really have a great track record when it comes to handling such situations sensibly and sensitively. Let’s hope they do better with acute illness than they did with chronic disability.