Table 2.

Supporting work for people with health conditions (UK)

Type of serviceNature or provisionHow to access
UK government services:
Access to work service ( grants or sustained funding for practical support to enable people with health conditions or disabilities to get a job, undertake training or an apprenticeship, or sustain a job.Application is through employer based on the needs of the employee.
Work coachesBased in local Job Centre Plus settings; these employment support workers can provide support for those out of work to find suitable work.First point of contact for benefit claimants.
Occupational health servicesLarger employers are required to have occupational health provision, but this can be in-house or contracted from providers who are now mostly in the private sector. Not all services are the same.Employee and employer can request occupational health input where available. Some employers will contract on a ‘once only’ basis for a specific employee.
Occupational therapistsAllied health professionals trained specifically to assess functional capability holistically including paid and unpaid work.Patchily provided through NHS; may be available through primary care or secondary care services. Often based within one specialty (eg neurology or rheumatology).
Vocational rehabilitation servicesUsually staffed by allied health professionals with dedicated skills in supporting return to work after ill health and/or sickness.Mostly provided commercially and paid for by employer or insurance company where individual or employer has funded cover.
Third sector services:
Citizens Advice
Macmillan Cancer Support
Versus Arthritis (musculoskeletal disorders)
MIND (mental health)
Services providing information, support and signposting to enable work for people with specific types of health conditions.Usually funded through charity and available for free.