8th June 2016

Returning to Clinical Practice (II)

Cont.... from Returning to Clinical Practice (I)

Occupational Health

You can access Occupational Health (OH) services provided by your secondary care employer after stating information about your come back. They will assess you mental and physical fitness to practise and advise you on the additional support for your adaptations to your work place.

The OH can access your health information from your employer but before acquiring them they must obtain your valid consent. You must be informed about what and why they are being acquired. For more advice on your rights, access Medical Reports Act 1988.

The GMC’s Good Medical Practice recommends if you have a serious condition that you could pass on to your patients, your job performance or judgement, then you must consult with a suitable qualified colleague.

Return to Work Interview

After seeing the OH, meet your clinical director to discuss the development of your return to work programme and your transitioning to the workplace. Your clinical director will be supervising your whole return to work programme.

Issues to cover in the return to work interview:

  • Reasons for the absence? Resolving actions if issues are persistent.
  • Level of disclosure of the situations and circumstances.
  • Time period of your absence. Your confidences in joining back and need of additional training and supervision.
  • Changes in service management and delivery (like NICE guidance, operating procedure etc.)
  • Implementation of new practices and equipment in your absence. Need of fresher training or adaptations
  • Impacts of your absence on GMC license to practise and revalidation
  • Your return to work phases

Reasonable Adjustments

Disabled job applicants and employees can have reasonable changes as “reasonable adjustments” to not face substantial difficulties in the employment, education and when using services. Under the Equality Act 1st Oct 2010, an employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for physically and mentally impaired applicants and employees.

  • A reasonable adjustment applies to work arrangements such as flexible working pattern and time offs or providing equipment to help you in your work.
  • Adjustment made on physical aspect of the workplace such as installing ramp or lift. These adjustment can be made depending upon the employee circumstances and practicability

Assessing Readiness to Practice

In the return to work interview, you and your clinical director will decide on how and when your return to work programme will be measured formally. Based on Intercollegiate Improving Working Lives Committee your return to work programme should be:

  • Defined time period
  • Level of Supervision required
  • An agreed format for assessment and progress feedback
  • Targeted training areas
  • Progress reviews and expected progress
  • The formal date to return to work

Successful participation in the return to work programme is important supporting information for your appraisal and revalidation as the programme demonstrate that you are fit to practise and do not have patient safety issues.


The applicants of return to work programme may need to make a reasonable contribution to cover the costs on necessitate training and procedure. An employer also has a responsibility to consider the funding for such practitioner with a long-term leave like maternity leave and sick leave etc. A range of funding options is available for those doctors with unpaid leave.

Reasonable contribution differs from case to case. Find further information on funding by contact NCAS directly.

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