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Airing Pain 75: Back to Work

How to move from sick leave to ‘good work’

This edi­tion is fund­ed by a grant from the Mof­fatt Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

As many as a quar­ter of peo­ple with chron­ic pain go on to lose their jobs, so what can be done to make stay­ing in work more achiev­able? We look for answers in this first of two episodes focus­ing on employment.

‘With the right sup­port, many peo­ple on sick leave, could be in work or helped back to work faster’, says Dame Car­ol Black, inde­pen­dent expert advi­sor to the gov­ern­ment. She explains why ‘good work’ – work where peo­ple are lis­tened to, respect­ed and have some con­trol – is not only impor­tant for our men­tal well-being, but can even pre­vent back pain.

The result of Dame Black’s report into this issue was the government’s Fit for Work scheme. Occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­pist Ger­ry McFeely describes how the pro­gramme aims to help those on sick leave to devel­op a Return to Work Plan.

Issues cov­ered in this pro­gramme include: Employ­ment, men­tal health, role of employ­ers, acces­si­bil­i­ty, bar­ri­ers to the work­place, CBT: cog­ni­tive behav­iour­al ther­a­py, sick­ness absence, occu­pa­tion­al ther­a­py, soci­ety and policy.


Con­trib­u­tors:

  • Louise Cou­p­land, Employ­a­bil­i­ty Devel­op­ment Offi­cer and ‘My Skills, My Strengths, My Right to Work’ Pro­gramme Leader at the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland
  • Dame Car­ol Black, Expert Advi­sor on Health and Work to Pub­lic Health Eng­land in the Depart­ment of Health
  • Ger­ry McFeely, Macmil­lan Con­sul­tant Occu­pa­tion­al Ther­a­pist for Can­cer and Long Term Health Con­di­tions Spe­cial­is­ing in Voca­tion­al Reha­bil­i­ta­tion, Ast­ley Ainslie Hos­pi­tal, Edinburgh.

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