Your typical OH referral could be costing you £2,250 more than it needs to.

money drain

Occupational Health (from Corporate Health anyway!) will deliver; clear, decisive and commercially focused advice and reports.

OH can make the difference between an absence going on and on, seemingly forever, or actually helping HR and managers to make some tough decisions, more often than not, getting the employee back to work.  Surely,  we have all now read enough about the cost of absence (No?! click here  for the CIPD Absence Management Survey 2012) and appreciate why absence is a real challenge?

So, are you curious to explore how your organisation might use Occupational Health more effectively?  Yes, well let’s first explore what a ‘typical’ referral to OH may look like….


‘Christmas Inc.’ has a long term absence policy trigger, that is set at 6 weeks (in line with other companies in the same sector, such as Easter Bunny Chocolate Ltd).  Employee ‘Mr. S. Claus,’ who works in the Logistics Department and is paid (the easy for the maths rate of) £200 per week, is off sick and now, at the end of his 6th week of absence has finally triggered the ‘long term’ sickness absence process. The line manager informs HR, HR follows the process over the next working week and writes to the employee’s GP. The GP takes a further 3 weeks before replying and sending their report back to the HR Team at Christmas Inc.

**Timeline check – we are now at week 10 **

HR then decide that they need an independent OH report as Mr Claus has mentioned that he is actually off with ‘stress and depression and it’s really affecting his ‘elf’.  After a week to review the case, HR arrange via OH, a face-to-face consultation, the appointment is arranged for a date 10 days away.  Mr Claus attends this and at the end of that week, the OHP sends his report to HR at Christmas Inc.

**Timeline check we are now at week 14**

The costs so far.

S Claus paid wages – 14 weeks at £200 = £2,800

GP Report – £90

OH Face to Face Consultation – £200

Total = £3,090

Now, let’s revisit this case but using a timely referral to OH.

Mr Claus reports his absence at ‘Day 1’ to his line manager (as per policy).  He mentions he is not well and the reason for his absence is that he is generally exhausted and may be suffering from stress and depression.  At the start of the next week (Monday – Day 6 week 2) – Mr Claus feels no better and does not return to work. His line manager refers the case to OH. OH triage the case and set up a consultation with Mr Claus for Wednesday of the same week. The consultation takes place, OH send their report to HR which is received on the Monday of week 3. They now have clear, decisive advice.

**Timeline check we are now at week 3**

S Claus paid wages – 3 weeks at £200 = £600

GP Report – £0 – (generally not required by Corporate Health OH, no value to the case, unless its a very technical one).

OH Physician  telephone consultation – £240.00 inc. report

Total = £840

As a mere meerkat reminds us, all too often, ‘it’s not!’, It is the simple things that make a difference and early referral is probably the most simple way to use OH more effectively AND save your organisation money. This approach very much ties in with findings and views regarding early intervention contained within (pages 71-72) Dame Carol Black’s report ‘Working for a healthier tomorrow‘,

We work with organisations right across the UK, to deliver timely, decisive OH reports, if you would like us to review some of your typical or ‘tricky’ cases (free of charge) then please do get in touch.

From all of the Team at Corporate Health, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a safe & healthy 2013.


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