Doctor and dentist contacts with an NHS occupational health service

Lalloo, D., Ghafur, I. and Macdonald, E.B. (2013) Doctor and dentist contacts with an NHS occupational health service. Occupational Medicine, 63(4), pp. 291-293. (doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqt029)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


<p>Background: There is increasing acceptance that management of ill-health in doctors can be patchy and is not always optimal. Health can impact on performance and fitness to practice, placing an important responsibility on occupational health (OH) services.</p> <p>Aims: To improve our understanding of OH contacts by doctors and dentists and make some comparison of this with available sickness absence records.</p> <p>Methods: A retrospective descriptive evaluation of all doctor and dentist encounters with the OH service between April 2009 and March 2010 was undertaken. Doctor and dentist encounters from our electronic appointment system were analysed using Microsoft Excel. Comparisons were made with management-reported sickness absence data for this period.</p> <p>Results: Blood tests, immunizations/immunization updates accounted for 49% (295) of contacts. Management and self-referrals accounted for 26% (157) of all OH contacts. Mental health conditions were the main reason for referral (approximately one-third of all cases referred). In this group, a much higher number presented to OH, absent from work, than were recorded with sickness absence by management. Musculoskeletal, infection and skin complaints were other predominant reasons for referral.</p> <p>Conclusions: Doctors and dentists do utilize this OH service and the issues for which they need services are wider than those of mental health. Inconsistency in the reporting of sickness absence in doctors with mental health problems has also been highlighted. This baseline information is a useful stepping stone to identifying and meeting the specific needs of doctors and dentists and can be used as a benchmark in other organizations.</p>

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacDonald, Professor Ewan and Lalloo, Professor Drushca
Authors: Lalloo, D., Ghafur, I., and Macdonald, E.B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Occupational Medicine

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record