It is estimated that sickness absence costs the UK economy £29bn a year. For employees there are personal and social implications. For the organisation, workload must be covered affecting team morale and increase management workload. The aim of Occupational Health assessments is to focus affected individuals on their recovery, aiding their return to health and to work much more quickly.
Occupational Health Assessments: benefits of telephone assessments
Traditionally Occupation Health Assessments have been conducted face-to-face. However, with changes in technology, differing working patterns and a squeeze on budgets, telephone assessments are increasingly popular because they provide several benefits;
- Fast, convenient appointments – access by the employee to an on-line booking service means they can book an appointment quickly, easily and at a time that suits them.
- Convenient location with no travel costs – an employee may be working remotely, overseas, occupied with customers, returning to work, have mobility issues, or commitments to existing medical appointments. The assessment can conveniently take place by telephone or Skype rather than at a specified location incurring travel costs.
- Ready advice – research shows that workplace health issues that are identified and addressed in the early stages reduces long term sickness absence. A telephone service provides ready support at an early stage and nips problems in the bud.
- Faster turnaround of reports and referral to treatment – reports and referrals to further treatment are faster with this method due to automation and flexibility for the OH practitioner.
- Less stressful for the employee – telephone consultations are often less stressful for employees than a face-to-face consultation combined with the hassle of travelling to an appointment.
- High quality – telephone consultations are of just as high a quality as face-to-face because they are conducted by an experienced, qualified OH practitioner, experienced in questioning and eliciting relevant information.
- Affordable – the cost of each telephone assessment is much less than a face-to face consultation.
In our experience most employees who are assessed by Occupational Health appreciate the support offered in their 1:1 health assessment and most receive advice to help them manage their condition, recover and perform their role effectively, often before the issue escalates.