At Health & Work Matters, we know how difficult it can be for a health professional to know what to advise their patients about work, or for an employer to know how best to support the person when they do want to return to work. You can't always be sure if they will manage, and you are probably not an expert in occupational health, and you can be left wondering what to say for the best.
Some healthcare professionals may feel that it’s not their place to give advice about work, or that they may not have all the facts available to help patients make that decision, so they advise people to stay off sick which may mean they stay off work longer than they may really need to.
Some employers find themselves worrying about whether someone will make themselves worse if they come back to work too soon, or don't really know how to make changes to work duties to enable someone to return to work.
Our goals is to educate and empower healthcare professionals to support patients, employers in supporting their employees, and others involved in returning people to work by providing information and resources that dispel some of the myths surrounding this topic (top ones include that the employer won’t be insured if the person returns to work on alternative duties – not true!) and proactively help people to work, because work is good for our health.
We can help physiotherapists, GPs, practice nurses, other health professionals, case managers, solicitors, employers and insurers concerned about the working lives of their patients, clients or employees. We specialise in helping with musculoskeletal and pain disorders as they are one of the greatest causes of work related absence in the UK and EU.
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Health & Work Matters was founded by Heather Watson, a qualified physiotherapist and expert in return to work and rehabilitation. Through her 20 years treating and talking to people from many walks of life working in all industry sectors, Heather has seen first-hand the effects that injuries and pain can have on individuals' health and personal lives, as well as the broader social and economic problems it can cause. And what really motivates Heather is that in many cases these difficult situations could have been avoided with better advice early on.
That’s why we're dedicated to promoting better support and resources for the healthcare professionals, case managers, solicitors and employers involved with people who may need to take time off work and then return to work whilst recovering from an injury or managing a long term condition.