Are You Still Writing for GP Reports to Manage Absence? – 5 Reasons To Think Again

As an experienced Occupational Health Nurse, I have always wondered why it is that some HR professionals and managers write to GPs rather than ask an Occupational Health specialist for a report to help them to manage absence. Occupational Health is the speciality of medicine which has the knowledge skills and training to provide advice on fitness for work in any industry setting and also has specialist knowledge of the diseases of occupations

Asking a GP, who has never had any occupational health training or even visited a workplace, for an opinion on fitness to work, rarely provides any useful advice on capability. It generally lengthens the management of the absence as GPs are very busy and can take weeks before a response is received and the report can be expensive.

Maybe it’s time to review your approach?

1. In my experience, non-medical people writing for a GP report are mostly wasting their time. I know that seeking further medical evidence is advised in many management of absence procedures, but I do not believe writing to a GP will give you anything other than a report which states the employee’s perspective on their medical condition. Once that is written in a report, it can sometimes ‘stranglehold’ the employer into a corner it is difficult to get out of without being seen to be unreasonable.

‘If Mrs Jones could be given a job nearer to home with light duties, reduced hours and a different Manager, I am sure she would be able to return to work’

2. The GP report may advise you of an employee’s diagnosis, but can you really make a judgement on what work capability an employee has from a medical diagnosis? If for example they are diagnosed with bi polar disorder, endometriosis or sciatica where does this leave you? Can you be absolutely sure that you are aware of all reasonable adjustments possible for these conditions? Fitness for work is about capability and not disability and the majority of GPs do not have enough knowledge of the workplace, diseases of occupations or risk assessments to provide a report which can be used by employers to manage a case forward with confidence in the workplace.

3. Reasonable adjustments are required if a condition may be likely to fall under the provision of the Equality Act 2010. This is however ultimately a legal and not a medical decision, but identifying what your obligations are in terms of disability legislation, can be complex and the tribunals are busy with cases where employers have not considered what the employee can do, rather than what they can’t. GP reports do not generally offer much helpful advice in this area and employers can easily fail to make simple adjustments just because they have not been given enough guidance on what can be done in the workplace to increase the capability, or ‘workability’ of employees with a medical condition. The GP will confirm that a medical condition is present, but how does … Read More

The Best Thing an Owner Can Do for Their Business Is Continue to Breathe

One of the best things a business owner can do for their business is continue to breathe. It sounds simple but for some business owners the hardest part about business ownership is finding time for themselves.

Health can be defined in a range of ways but the way I see it is; health is the absence of illness and the presence of vitality. Vitality is that energy and exuberance that comes from someone who is well rested, with energy to burn and the focus to put that energy to good use. I know many business owners that miss the mark when it comes to their own health.

Often business owners believe they need to work 24/7, putting themselves into a situation where it is difficult to sustain for the long term. If your business does not allow you the time to look after yourself over the long term, what makes you think the business will even last that long… Or that you will? By having your business over reliant upon you, it is likely you are starting a cycle that will turn into a cyclone, that can only result in a path of destruction.

What happens is this: first you begin to work all of the time. You are working in your business and doing the hard yards and there is a part of you that thinks ‘this is what I have to do for my business to continue’. You are being a martyr. The pressure on you builds until you are working so much you lose contact with your friends and family. Little did you know, that they were the support system of your life and without them you are left unsupported. Anyone who thinks that they have to do it alone is suffering from what I like to call the ‘Hero Complex’.

The ‘Hero Complex’ describes those people that think they don’t need anyone else’s help. They think they can move mountains on their own and run their business on their own. It is almost an ego trip for them. Little do they realise, that every hero has a sidekick. Someone who helps them when they can’t see an answer. Someone who keeps them focused when the going gets tough. Often it is purely the belief that the sidekick has in them, that reenergises the hero to go on and win. Some heroes even have a whole team to support them in their mission! If you believe you can do this on your own and that your business will only operate if you do everything, all of the time… You are wrong. In every instance you are wrong.

The key to success is having a team of experts to help make decisions… and a pit crew who support you… and cheer squad who believe in you. As Michael Jackson said ‘you are not alone’ and you never should be.

If you have made the choice to be 100% work all of the time, what happens when … Read More

How Strong Is Your Immune System?

How many of these drugs are you taking on a regular basis?

  • Cold medicine
  • Antibiotics
  • Aspirin
  • Allergy medications

Far too many people are living with a vulnerable immune system that cannot successfully defend itself from diseases and sicknesses. Did you know that your immune system has the inborn capability to protect itself from ill health? When your body is healthy and fit, your immune system has the ability to defend itself against millions of toxins, bacteria, parasites, and viruses. So why are so many people these days, including yourself, turning to man-made, chemical-filled drugs to perform the natural functions of a healthy body?

What Is Inside That Medication?

Go and take some time to actually read through the ingredients on the medicines that are filling your medicine cabinet. Without a doubt, you will find a long list of words that are unpronounceable and most likely completely foreign to your knowledge. Although they may sound scientific, if you’re not sure what any of the words mean, then you are still at a loss with understanding just what is inside of those pills you are taking.

The bottom line is that most medications can and will cause unfavorable side effects, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, drowsiness, nausea, liver damage, and dizziness, to name a few.

Staying hydrated, and improving your immune system naturally is a totally safe way to help you avoid sickness and poor health. You will probably be surprised at how simple it really is to boost your immune system and thwart sickness for good.

  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet, high in vegetables, whole grains, and fruits
  • Drink pure, clean water every day

In order to drink truly clean water, you will have to stop yourself from running out and buying bottled waters and average water filters that really are not doing much of anything. Bottled and tap water can contain contaminants, toxins, and unregulated chemicals–these should not be entering your body when attempting to boost your immune system! Why spend all of this money on bottled water or a sub-par filter for your tap water, when neither one of these things will give you the results that your body needs?

The only way you will achieve a great immune system by drinking the best water, is by drinking clean, ionized, alkaline water. By drinking this water every day as a part of your new regimen, your immune system will benefit from it and you will not only see results, you’ll feel the results. And that is the most important thing. You’ll be amazed with the changes.… Read More

Is Dieting For A Dummy?

Do you believe that dieting actually helps you lose weight? I don’t think so! And I’ll tell you why. In my observation of people who go on “diets,” it seems to put more stress on them, deprive them of the foods they like, make them GORGE when they decide to cheat, and generally makes them very unhappy. Not only are they unhappy, but sometimes this unhappiness makes them GAIN weight instead of lose it.

So what is the SECRET to maintaining a healthy weight? There are numerous ways (unless you have a thyroid or other disorder) in which to stay, fit, healthy, happy and maintain a good weight. The first thing you need to do is to FORGET the idea of dieting and stop focusing on how fat you think you are or how you don’t like your body, and start focusing on the idea of a healthy lifestyle.

That is the absolute best advice anyone can give you. And all of these get-thin-quick plans or diets prescribed by this guru or this specialist or this DOCTOR, don’t usually help a person STAY slim or lose weight. Why? Because as soon as you stop their plan/diet, all bets are off! Not only do people gain the weight they lost back, but they also often gain more weight than before. This can’t be healthy or a good idea.

The real truth is: thinness is a state of mind! Remember the book “Think Thin?” I never read it, but the concept of it actually makes a lot of sense to me. If you have a “thin” mentality, you will somehow manage to stay thin. If you have always been on the heavy side, then this kind of thinking is very foreign to you and not a part of your paradigm. Don’ worry, there are other ways in which to be your ideal weight. It really takes an attitude shift and a way of looking at life in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and be a good weight. Weight is not the only focus; body image is really important and I would say that possibly 85% of the world does not like something about their body! This is a common phenomenon. You are not alone!

What is important to recognize is that what really matters is your ATTITUDE about your body, food, exercise and healthy living that is the winning ticket to good weight management.

Some of you may say, “I’ve tried everything and I just can’t lose the weight.” Unless you have a condition, you can and you simply need to adjust the way you are looking at yourself. You need to look at your life holistically: mind, body, spirit and emotion, in order to get a handle on what it all means and how it translates into your entire being. This is the REAL SECRET to weight loss, and if you don’t believe me, I will further show you how!… Read More

Building Muscle – Core Workouts and Nutrition

When wanting to build substantial muscle mass and strength the body requires numerous necessary core workouts and nutritional supplements.

Athletes and health club users will must insert the following compound lifts, which target numerous muscle groups within the body simultaneously, into their workout and exercising regime:

Barbell Bench Press

This physical exercise focuses on the improvement on the pectoralis key muscle at the same time as other supporting muscle tissues which includes the anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, coracobrachialis, scapulae fixers, trapezii, along with the triceps.

Barbell Squat

This workout focuses around the improvement in the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and lower back.

Barbell Deadlift

This exercising focuses on the development of mostly the erector spinae, gluteus maximus, adductor magnus, hamstrings, and quadriceps

On top of that, workout routines which include Bent Over Barbell Row, Chins & Military Shoulder Press to work opposing muscle groups can also be added to compliment the core lifting workout routines.

Any other weight based exercises can be included, but without the core elements, any progress in size & strength will be limited and slow.

For those involved in weight lifting or bodybuilding, a carefully monitored diet as well as the use of nutritional supplements are necessary for gaining the desired results.

A typical diet will consist of smaller and frequent meal throughout the day with each containing 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% of good fats. Most physique builders will consume approx 6-8 meals per day with most containing lean meat/chicken/fish, a portion of rice/potato and some vegetables.

It is also essential that at least 2 of these meals contain a protein supplement especially after workout. Other essentials include creatine and glutamine which can be taken separately or as an all-in-one supplement depending on individual goals.

Vitamins and fish oils will also play a key role and should also be consumed in the recommended amounts.

Whey protein in particular is an crucial supplement in order to make muscle. Whey protein, which has an has an amazing ability to be digested very rapidly, can be used by regular fitness center customers and body builders to help muscle rebuilding and re-growth. The use of protein after heavy workouts not only increases levels of amino acids in one’s blood and adds muscle mass, but it also helps open up blood flow in the arteries by inhibiting an angiotensin-converting enzyme which constricts the veins. This in turn, ensures a better supply of oxygen and nutrients to your vital organs, tissues and muscles to help rebuild and repair muscle tissues.

Whey protein is commonly ingested as a dietary supplement and you should use one that provides your physique with a constant supply.… Read More