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Health: Working-age Population

Volume 716: debated on Tuesday 5 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress is being made in replacing paper sick notes with electronic fit notes, and introducing health at work co-ordinators and the national centre for working age health, following Dame Carol Black's review of the health of Britain's working-age population. [HL563]

We have set out how we intend to improve the health of the working-age population in Improving health and work: changing lives, the Government's response to Dame Carol Black's review of the health of Britain's working-age population.

We are making good progress working across government to take this agenda forward, in partnership with key stakeholders like employers, the NHS, healthcare professionals, trade unions and insurers.

The Government intend to introduce a revised medical statement in April 2010. We are working with colleagues in GB health departments to try to ensure that the new certificate is delivered in an electronic format. However, specific delivery timetables are dependent on commercial partners who provide relevant IT systems to primary care.

We are also establishing a Health, Work and Well-being Co-ordinator role within each English region and in Scotland and Wales. The co-ordinators will champion integrated approaches to health, employment and skills support, encourage local public sector employers as exemplars and build engagement with small businesses.

Eight out of the 11 co-ordinators are in post; two have been appointed and will be in post shortly. We are currently interviewing for the other co-ordinator post.

The network launch of the Health, Work and Well-being Co-ordinators took place on 8 December 2009 and this successful event brought together senior government officials, policy advisors and representatives from the business world that have an interest in the promotion of health, work and well-being initiatives.

Additionally, we have been clarifying the objectives and the working model for the National Centre for Working Age Health and Well-being with stakeholders. We hope to be able to start the tendering process within the next month.