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Trends in NHS doctor and dentist referrals to occupational health

Lalloo, D ; Demou, E ; Macdonald, E. B

Occupational Medicine (Oxford, England), 2016, Vol.66(4), p.316-319 [Periódico revisado por pares]

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  • Título:
    Trends in NHS doctor and dentist referrals to occupational health
  • Autor: Lalloo, D ; Demou, E ; Macdonald, E. B
  • Assuntos: Original Paper ; 1042 ; Dentists ; Doctors ; Occupational Health Services ; Sickness Absence.
  • É parte de: Occupational Medicine (Oxford, England), 2016, Vol.66(4), p.316-319
  • Descrição: Background Ill-health in doctors can affect performance and fitness to practice, and consequently patient care and safety, placing an important responsibility on National Health Service (NHS) occupational health (OH) services. Anecdotal discussions amongst NHS occupational physicians suggest an increase in the number of doctor attendances over time, with continuing focus on mental illness. Aims To analyse OH referrals in doctors and dentists over 3 years. Methods A retrospective evaluation of all doctor and dentist referrals to the OH service in one Scottish NHS board from April 2011 to March 2014, comparing this to management-reported sickness absence (SA) data held by the organization. Results We found no significant change in overall OH referrals for doctors and dentists during the evaluation period. Mental illness was the commonest referral reason in all 3 years at 32, 38 and 30%, respectively, but no significant change in mental health referrals was demonstrated within the study period. SA events significantly increased during the three study years (356, 426 and 469, respectively; P < 0.05). OH referrals for those absent from work increased significantly between Years 1 and 3 (16 and 30, respectively; P < 0.05). Conclusions SA events and OH referrals for those absent from work significantly increased between April 2011 and March 2014, but there was no commensurate (statistically significant) increase in overall OH referrals. These findings do not support anecdotal suggestions of increasing OH (or mental ill-health) attendances but can be used as a benchmark for other NHS organizations and for future trend comparisons.

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