Day One

Wednesday 31 January 2024

8.55 Registration

9.00 Welcome & background
Dr Nerys Williams

9.15 Introduction to case management in OH
Dr Nerys Williams

  • What do we mean by OH case management?
  • Case management and its role in OH
    • Why is it important?
    • Focusing on outcomes
    • Joined up OH: from absence to recovery (and beyond)
  • Developing a structured approach – the five steps:
    • Phase 1: Case assessment
    • Phase 2: Planning – timing and role assignment
    • Phase 3 : Implementation
    • Phase 4: Monitoring progress, evaluation and report
    • Phase 5: Maintenance – beyond the return to work; breaking the absence cycle; triggers/pointers for managers
  • Other models of case management
  • Taking the lead – the OH role as case management coordinator

10.00 The biopsychosocial model – using the ‘psychosocial flags framework’ in OH
Prof Kim Burton

  • The relationship between health and work
  • Epidemiological perspectives and work-relevance
  • The biopsychosocial model – obstacles to recovery and participation
  • The ‘flags’ explained
    • Red flags
    • Yellow flags
    • Blue and black flags
  • Timing and stepped care
  • Work ability
  • Myths and words
  • Principles v process(includes coffee break)

11.50 Using evidence-based approaches – Part 1
Prof Kim Burton

  • Evidence-based approaches to common health problems – an introduction:
    • Effective healthcare
      • Guidelines – musculoskeletal – mental health
      • Work-focused healthcare
    • Effective workplace strategies
      • Health <-> Work Toolbox
      • Line managers
      • Accommodation

12.20 Lunch

13.10 Using evidence based approaches – Part 2

Prof Kim Burton

  • Putting the flags into practice
  • Return to work plans – development and taking action
  • Stay at work – presenteeism or opportunity?
  • Some ergonomics
  • Making the fit note work
  • Using information and advice

14.20 Tea

14.40 Legal framework – disability and long-term absence
Prof Diana Kloss

  • Equality Act 2010
    • Disability and fitness for work
    • Knowledge of disability
    • Disclosure, consent and confidentiality
    • Reasonable adjustments
    • Disability, health and safety
    • Fitness to drive
  • Absence
    • Unfair dismissal explained
    • Dismissal on health/capability grounds
    • Medical evidence and consent
  • Ill-health retirement
  • Fitness to work/fitness to attend disciplinary hearings
    • (This is a UK based course, so this session covers UK law, and in particular, the law of England of Wales)

16.10 Legal and practice Q&A
Professor Diana Kloss & Dr Nerys Williams

16.35 Close of day


Day Two

Thursday 1 February 2024

8.55 Registration

9.00 Introduction – Summary of key areas covered in day 1

9.10 Case conferences
Dr Nerys Williams

  • Role of case conferences
  • Organising a case conference
    • Who should attend?
    • Should the employee attend? Pros and cons
    • Preparation
    • Face to face and audio/video links

9.40 Making the case (for case management)
Dr Nerys Williams

  • Getting case management on the agenda in your organisation
  • Changing views of OH
  • Case management standards – relevance to OH

10.10 Managing difficult cases in practice (part one)
Dr Monika Misra

  • Practical considerations for the OH Practitioner
  • Case management examples, to include the following issues:
    • Multidisciplinary working
    • The infection of individual beliefs and workplace culture
    • Identifying the barriers to a successful outcome
    • Conflict between the employee and manager

11.15 Coffee

11.35 Managing difficult cases in practice (part two)
Dr Monika Misra

  • A group work exercise putting the flags into practice

12.30 Lunch

13.20 Case management in practice at Rolls-Royce
Dr Deidre Phelan

  • Successful case management
  • Costs and benefits of interventions
  • Organising services – who does what?
  • Liaising with GPs, other primary care services, managers and others
  • Managing numerous cases simultaneously
  • Tips for success

14.40 Tea

15.00 Managing long-term conditions and progressive illness
Dr Shairana Naleem

  • Using case management principles to support a worker with a long-term health condition
  • Multiple and complex conditions
  • Interface with medical management

16.35 Course assignment

16.50 Close of day


Day Three

Friday 2 February 2024

8.55 Registration

9.00 Introduction – Summary of key areas covered on day 2

9.10 Making sense of back pain using a biopsychosocial approach

David Rogers

  • Knowledge of the role that BPS factors play in preventing recovery from back pain and what you can do to change this
  • Develop a range of strategies to successfully treat psychological factors to promote recovery
  • Techniques to help employees move without fear
  • Access to a flare-up plan for use when employees’ back pain becomes overwhelming
  • Guidance on how to help line managers to manage employees’ back pain
  • An understanding of how your daily clinical work and outcomes can be enhanced by addressing psychological obstacles to recovery

10.45 Coffee

11.05 Achieving better outcomes through motivational interviewing & communication

Alan Dovey

  • Effective communication skills
  • Managing expectations
  • Managing obstacles to enhance change
  • Practical exercises

12.40 Lunch

13.30 Mental health case management
Alan Dovey

Interactive case studies exploring:

  • The nature and treatment of common mental disorders in working population
  • Interaction of occupational health, primary care and specialist input
  • Disclosure, confidentiality, consent
  • Sickness absence and management
  • Non-medical interventions
  • Management of chronic disorders (severe mental illness)

15.05 Tea

15.25 Effective case management reports
Dr Nerys Williams

  • Purpose of the OH case management report
  • Writing an effective report
  • Do’s and don’ts

16.15 Final questions

16.20 Close of course


Benefits of attending

How will gaining this qualification benefit you and your organisation?

You will gain:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the importance of the role that OH can play as case management coordinator
  • A detailed knowledge of the biopsychosocial model and how it can be used to identify obstacles to job retention or return-to-work
  • A structured approach to case management, from drawing up return-to-work and job-retention plans, to putting these into practice and evaluating their success
  • In-depth comprehension of the theory and practical skills required to manage complex cases, from chronic conditions to mental health
  • Guidance on legal obligations

This course will equip you with the theory and practice to improve your case management skills – helping your organisation to reduce the burden of long-term absence by improving return-to-work and job retention outcomes.

Who is the course designed for?

The course is designed for occupational physicians, occupational health nurses, case managers and people working in OH-related disciplines whose roles encompass case management. We welcome delegates from all over the world to the course, although please note that the legal session on the first day covers UK law, and in particular, the law of England of Wales.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

Self-certification schemes: 18 hours for attending the course. Additional CPD can be gained after the course by undertaking the course assignment and reflecting on your learning.

Assignment and certification

In order to qualify for the Certificate in OH Case Management, delegates must attend at least 80% of the course. Following the course, students will undertake an assignment demonstrating their understanding of the theory and skills taught in the course. Students who successfully complete the assignment will be awarded The At Work Partnership’s Certificate in OH Case Management.

About our expert tutors

Course director: Dr Nerys Williams is a specialist in occupational medicine and is an independent occupational physician, clinical appraisal lead for the Society of  Occupational Medicine, and a GMC examiner. She is the former principal occupational physician and deputy director (wellbeing) for the Department for Work and Pensions.

Prof Kim Burton OBE is an occupational health research consultant. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and an expert advisor to the Work and Health Unit, jointly sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care. Kim’s research interests focus on obstacles to recovery and return to work for people with common health problems. 

Prof Diana Kloss MBE is a barrister, former employment judge and honorary senior lecturer in OH Law at the University of Manchester. Her publications include Occupational Health Law (5th edition, Wiley Blackwell, 2010), and Discrimination Law and OH Practice for The At Work Partnership. She is an honorary fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, an ACAS arbitrator, and in 2009, was awarded an MBE.

Dr Monika Misra is European Head of Associate Health and Wellbeing at Mars Inc. Monika started her medical career as a General Practitioner and subsequently became a specialist in Occupational Medicine, which she has practiced both in the public and corporate sectors.  She is on the board of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing.

Dr Deidre Phelan is an occupational physician and is head of occupational health at Rolls-Royce, and brings experience from in-house and externally provided OH services. 

Dr Shairana Naleem trained in occupational medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and now works for Health Partners. She originally trained at UCL and worked for 5 years as a Consultant Physician in Acute Internal Medicine at King’s College Hospital and simulation expert with the GMC and Royal College of Physicians, before a career renaissance to become an accredited specialist in Occupational Health.

David Rogers is a chartered physiotherapist with over 25 years’ experience of helping people with musculoskeletal pain to recover function, return to work and regain their quality of life. David is a chartered physiotherapist at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham. His work is focused on applying a biopsychosocial approach to recovery, using cognitive behavioural principles aimed at maximising recovery.

Alan Dovey is a consultant cognitive behavioural psychotherapist, director of Working Minds UK and honorary clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham. His area of specialised interest is occupational health and the development of effective systems of treating clients within organisations using an integrated approach.


About Brunel University London

This qualification is run by The At Work Partnership with the support of Brunel University London.

Brunel University London’s College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences runs the NMC accredited Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) for entry on Part 3 of the NMC register for three pathways namely OH, Health Visiting and School Nursing. Part 3 registration is sought by many OH employers. The College prides itself in delivering high quality professional and public health education in line with the University’s mission “to bring benefit to society through excellence in education, research and knowledge transfer”.

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