Archive for 2009

Legal right to be treated within 18 weeks

Nov 11, 2009

The NHS Constitution has opened up consultation on new patient rights to be treated within a defined timescale which could include being seen privately.  It has been all over the media and is currently the subject of much political debate. Nowhere in the cases for and against have I seen any reference to what the impact of reduced waiting times could have on the economy as a whole. Here are my observations sent to the NHS yesterday: (Continue reading …)

Can Employers rely on GPs?

Nov 09, 2009

Whilst we wait on the results of the DWP consultation on the proposed Fit Note, Keele University has recently published a survey of 442 Gps and 580 physiotherapists over a quarter of which continue to recommend that employees with lower back pain stay off work. This is despite National Guidelines to the contrary. (Continue reading …)

Some Home Truths about Sickness Absence

Nov 09, 2009

An analysis of sickness absence records for 11,000 employees has just been released by Mercer – not their own employees I hasten to add, but of some of their clients.  I am not surprised by the findings that one in three absence days are Mondays and the worst month for absence is January. If you were to correlate this with estimated national figures for absence, it would mean that Mondays cost UK plc £4bn. When you consider that non-genuine absence is thought to be around 25%, we’re looking at a cost of £1bn for throwing a Monday ‘sickie’.   (Continue reading …)

National Stress Awareness Day

Nov 04, 2009

Yes, it’s here again. The huge amount of coverage that stress gets every other day of the year now makes makes you question why they single out one day. If you look at the press release  you’ll see that this year Boots have very kindly offered to host ‘stress advisors’ – whatever they are – in 12 of their stores.

Responsibility for Employee Mental Health – Discuss

Nov 04, 2009

The CIPD has just released results of a survey of 2,100 employees which has revealed that one in four described their mental health as moderate or poor.  In with a whole load of other findings, one in particular caught my attention and forms the basis for this article. Of those with poor mental health,only 12% said this was due to problems at work. (Continue reading …)

Private Hospitals to be used to reduce waiting lists

Nov 02, 2009

The Times recently ran an exclusive about the government’s intention to pay for treatment in the private sector where the NHS was unable to meet the 18 week waiting list target.  Setting aside any political arguments, this is conceptually good news for employers who have people absent waiting for NHS treatment. It’s made me think about the wider implications. (Continue reading …)

A Step too Far ?

Oct 30, 2009

Philips have got some good media exposure today for their calorie counting gadget DirectLife which measures exercise intensity. Some 30 US companies are trialling it on 25,000 employees who must wear it at all times so that information about their activity levels can be relayed to a central computer which builds employee health profiles. Where is this leading? (Continue reading …)

Cancer Support for Employees and Employers

Oct 27, 2009

Ford and Nationwide have just announced that they are piloting a new cancer toolkit for employers from Macmillan Cancer Support. I think this is a really worthwhile initiative when almost 90,000 people of working age will have some form of cancer diagnosis this year. (Continue reading …)

SMEs to share in £4m Health Work and Wellbeing Challenge Fund

Oct 26, 2009

The DWP has just announced the launch of its challenge fund of £4m over the next two years for SMEs ‘ to provide the necessary support to help workers remain happy and healthy in their job. This fund will improve conditions in the workplace and will help to prevent workers taking time off sick.’  I’d just like to make a couple of observations. (Continue reading …)

Rights to NHS Treatment when you also pay for Private Care

Oct 22, 2009

I’ve found out that the private medical insurer WPA has paid for Queen’s Counsel advice on the issue of the right to NHS treatment following private treatment. This got a great deal of media exposure a year ago around private top ups for cancer treatment not available on the NHS. You can view the QC opinion on the WPA website here. (Continue reading …)