Invest in Occupational Health to Tackle the UK's Healthcare Crisis

It’s no secret that NHS waiting lists are unfortunately extremely high.

Mental health support waiting lists are even further stretched, meaning that people have to wait years for life-saving and vital support.

With a lack of funding and resources, there’s a healthcare crisis in the UK. The lack of support available is causing a multitude of problems. First and foremost, people’s health is declining at an alarming rate, but it’s also meaning that more people are absent from work and on long-term sick, affecting the businesses and UK economy. Around 51% of people on long-term sick leave is due to mental health issues such as stress, anxiety or depression. It has also been found that more than 1.8 million people are on the waiting list for mental health services; so if people are off work with a sick note, they can be for quite a long time due to the lack of support for mental health and their return to work. Ultimately, it costs the UK economy £43 billion a year.

Not only is the workplace sometimes a cause of poor mental health, but there’s also an evident lack of support both inside and outside of work. This causes a higher rise in employees being on sick leave; there needs to be preventative strategies and active support when poor mental health presents itself with employees.

How can investing in Occupational Health help?

Having an Occupational Health team, even if it’s externally sourced, means that health and wellbeing can be monitored within the workplace. It can ensure wellbeing practices and a lot of preventative measures as part of wellbeing schemes and health surveillance. A lot of different strategies can be in place to ensure employees open-up if they feel they need to and have access to support and tailored measures to help them in work.  

It's not only good for prevention but also, it’s good at supporting timely mental health problems or crises. Accessing support to counsellors and psychologists is quicker than waiting for NHS appointments with large waiting lists. There has been a rise in demand for mental health and wellbeing support in the workplace due to the lack of support externally.

UKIM Occupational Health & Wellbeing can provide proactive and thorough support from beginning to end on each individual case. With an in-house clinical team, as well as experts across the UK, those seeking clinical support for mental health issues, as well as any occupational health issue, can access the support they need quickly. This ensures less absences and quicker return-to-work options.

UKIM’s Head of Occupational Health Operations, Angela Evans, says:

“As a society we must support those who are unable to work, but there is certainly more that can be done to support people to either return to or remain in employment. A robust pre-placement assessment process can provide employers with the advice and support they need to ensure all potential applicants are given access to employment, and Occupational Health support can help prevent employees falling out of employment by empowering employers to support their employees through periods of ill health.”