April/May 2021 (vol. 17/6)

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Work-focused healthcare

Legacy of OH knowledge can help overcome obstacles to policy progress


Despite general acceptance that work is good for health, promoting work as a health outcome remains a policy aspiration rather than accepted clinical practice. Serena Bartys and Kim Burton explore what needs to change and how it can be achieved. 

Numerous policy initiatives over the past 12 years have singularly failed to embed the concept of ‘work-focused healthcare’ into routine consultations with working-age people. And despite wide acceptance among clinicians and policymakers that ‘work is good for your health’, there has been little integration of occupational health (OH) concepts into primary and secondary care in the UK. However, by understanding this disconnect and taking appropriate action, it should be possible to reconfigure healthcare practitioners’ approaches to the work–health relationship…

Dr Serena Bartys is a principal research fellow in work and health at the University of Huddersfield.

Professor Kim Burton is a freelance researcher and professor of occupational healthcare at the University of Huddersfield.

Author: Barty S, Burton K


Occupational Health at Work April/May 2021 (vol. 17/6) pp16-22

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