Sick certification + Benefits Jo Swallow
T/F Quiz! • A med 3 can only be issued by the GP • A med 3 can be based on a phone conversation • A med 3 can usually be backdated • A med 3 can not be issued by a nurse • A patient who is appealing their ESA allowance must be issued a Med 3 • A patient needs to be signed back fit to work after a certification expires
A patient can have 2 med 3s issued if they have 2 jobs. • SMP is paid for how many weeks? • ESA pays more than job seekers allowance? • When would you sign a Form DS1500?
The Employment and Support Allowance • The limited capability for work test • The limited capability for work-related activity test • The work-focused health related assessment • The work-focused interview
Case 1 –Mr palmer • Mr palmer attends your surgery with pain in his lower back. • He works as a builder and this pain is preventing him from being able to work. He has already been off for 6 days and comes asking for help. • In pairs- • What issues might you consider? What action would you take?
Writing a sick certificate: Liaising with employers Consider issuing a Med 3: “You need NOT refrain from work” with specific advice to employers about adjustments to duties or hours in the remarks section. Example of specific advice to employers: " This woman is fit to return to work but is not fit to carry out manual handling tasks for the next two weeks”. Consider returning the individual to work in the middle of the week rather than a Monday Paying for treatment / investigations
Mr Palmer 2, • Mr palmer reattends 2 weeks later stating that his pain is still present and requesting a further month off work, • Thoughts, issues, • Plan?
Length of absence is a risk Window of opportunity (1- 6 months) Worker off for 4 – 12 weeks: 10-40% chance of being off work at one year Worker off 6 - 12 months: 90% chance of never returning to any form of work in the foreseeable future Waddell and Burton
Risks and harm of being out of work Loss of fitness Physical and mental deterioration Increased risk of poor health x 2-3 Social exclusion Poverty Waddell and Burton, 2006
Risk and harm – mental health risks • Psychological distress and depression Increased x 2-3 • Increased suicide and mortality 20% exIcess deaths
Families and work Children in workless households: have a higher prevalence of recurrent health conditions and lower well-being suffer higher rates of psychiatric disorders are more likely to experience worklessness themselves during adult life
Is Work good for your health and wellbeing? Strong evidence exists that unemployment is harmful to health. The unemployed have higher mortality, poorer general health, poorer mental health and higher medical consultation, medication consumption, and hospital admission rates. (Waddell & Burton)
Case 3 • 56yr old michael thomas attends 7 days after undergoing a TURP for benign prostatic disease. • He works as a painter and decorator, • How long until he can commence work? • Any guides? • Other thoughts?
Fitness for work: prognosis Source: www.workingfit.com ( see also OUP Handbook of General Practice)