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Health Services

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department provides health or social care services out of public funds, with reference to the statement by the Minister of State, Department of Health, in the Health and Social Care Bill Committee, of 17 January 2008, Official Report, column 327. (200227)

Across the Department for Transport there are employee assistance providers who provide support to employees. The service, funded by the Department, provides professional advice, guidance and in some cases counselling sessions for staff who could be facing a variety of personal problems.

The Department also has access to qualified occupational health advisers who provide medical and health related advice that includes advice on sick absence cases, pre-employment health checks, work station assessments and medical check-ups in specific work areas.

Exceptionally, the Department may pay towards the cost of physiotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy both to assist in the employee's return to work and as a preventative measure. It would need to be clearly demonstrated that the therapy would result in an earlier return to work than would otherwise be the case. In these cases we would work with our occupational health advisers to agree the best course of action.

These professional services and support mechanisms support the Department in its drive to promote employee well-being, reduce sickness absence and facilitate a return to work as soon as possible.