Introduction:In the context of a patient's contact with a member of a Primary Care team, usually a General Medical Practitioner, issues of Occupational Health (the influence of Work on Health, and of Health on Work) may be very important. The patient might also present to an Occupational Health professional, or bypass the Primary Care team or the issue 'slips through the net' in which case presentation may be to an Accident and Emergency Department, to a hospital based specialist, or some other body. In any case, at first contact, the following aspects need to be considered:
The Way Ahead:The prime emphasis to prevent work related ill-health and to promote health at work, must be within the workplace itself. It is only at this level that true 'primary' prevention can be practised to the extent of controlling risks before they ever arise in the first place.
However, inevitably there will always be
health and work that will face the General Medical Practitioner, and
health care professionals outside the workplace. These professionals
be expected to have the full competencies of Occupational Health
since they have to be competent and resourced in a wide range of areas.
However they need to be aware of the possible interactions between
and work, so that they can seek further information/advice or refer the
An important research programme has been set up in order to determine the incidence of occupational ill health of patients as determined by trained General Practitioners. Foe more information about THORgp please click here.