General practitioners and occupational health professionalsBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7410.302 (Published 07 August 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:302
- Jeremy Beach (firstname.lastname@example.org), associate professor,
- David Watt, clinical director
- Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G3
- Occupational Health, Glasgow Primary Care Trust Glasgow G3 8H5
Consensus statement to improve interaction is timely and welcome
Occupational Medicine (the journal of the Society of Occupational Medicine) recently published a consensus statement on the interaction between general practitioners and occupational health professionals in their roles in vocational rehabilitation.1 This was derived by using a Delphi technique to solicit the views of interested and influential individuals from industry, insurance, academia, representative organisations, government departments, and universities.2 3 The statement emphasises the potential benefits of work and the importance of vocational rehabilitation in restoring an optimal lifestyle to individuals recovering from illness and injury.
Anecdotally, examples of excellent communication between general practitioners and occupational health professionals exist, but poor or non-existent communication is common. At times the relationship may become adversarial, with the patient unable to understand the respective roles. This has an impact on patients' rehabilitation to useful work. Poor communication is not restricted to the United Kingdom and has been shown to act as an impediment to rehabilitation elsewhere.4 5 The …