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Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational rehabilitation (VR) can be defined as "whatever helps someone with a health problem to stay at, return to and remain in work". In their review ( Vocational Rehabilitation What Works, For Whom, and When?) Waddell, Burton and Kendall concluded that there is strong evidence that return to work assists recovery from many health conditions.

The Scottish Government's Co-ordinated, integrated and fit for purpose - A Delivery Framework for Adult Rehabilitation identifies the importance of VR and sets out a model for service delivery. Importantly, the rehabilitation framework recognises that rehabilitation cannot be delivered by health services alone and that an integrated approach across services is required.

It identifies a rapid access referral process through which individuals should be able to secure support and specialist advice from a dedicated VR team consisting of a range of professionals using case management approaches.

The Scottish Government's Health Works strategy recommends that the case management approach to working with clients must be more widely adopted. It is important to de-medicalise the client's situation and take a whole person approach, considering wider issues around personal circumstances, housing, money issues, etc.

Three VR service pilots in Dundee, Lothians and the Borders were established to trial models of integrated service delivery, allowing rapid access to treatment for employees of small and medium sized enterprises (SME's) who do not have access to in-house occupational health services.

These pilots have now been evaluated and the learning from the evaluations will inform further development of VR based services. The objective will be for every NHS Board area to develop access to relevant health services within their existing resources by adopting the good approaches and practices highlighted by the evaluations of the vocational rehabilitation and Fit for Work Service pilots.

Working Health Services Scotland

Working Health Services Scotland

Following Dame Carol Black's ( Working for a Healthier Tomorrow) recommendation, the UK Government is providing funding for a series of 'Fit for Work Service' (FFWS) pilots across Great Britain. SALUS Return to Work Service was awarded the contract for a Scotland Wide Pilot of the FFWS, called Working Health Services Scotland (WHSS), to provide a case management service to individuals of working age, employed by small to medium sized companies (SME's), who have no access to Occupational Health Services (OHS) or Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP's).

Funding for the service was made available by Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Scottish Government until March 2012.

SALUS is accountable for coordinating service provision across 14 Scottish Health Board areas and is expected to support approximately 3500 clients per annum.