At Fit for Work, we have been using telephone consultations since the launch of the service and I know that there are a number of benefits to that approach. I have years of experience with telephone assessments, and I’ve seen their popularity increase in recent years – with what I believe to be very good reasons:
Convenience: An important benefit of a telephone consultation in a return to work referral is how convenient they are. A telephone assessment can be conducted at a time which suits you. It also means you won’t have to travel anywhere for the appointment, which can often be a real blessing if you’re struggling with ill health and are currently out of work, as all our patients are – you can speak to a Fit for Work health professional from within your own home, and you won’t have to pay for transport, petrol or parking to make their appointment.
Comfort: Being able to speak to a Fit for Work case manager within your own home can often make you feel more relaxed and comfortable. It can often feel quite intimidating having to go into a professional environment and talk about what many of our patients see as ‘trivial’ issues. A telephone assessment from home can make it easier for you to open up, about anything from financial to relationship issues, which are all important for us to hear about in order to fully understand exactly why you’re is struggling to return to work.
Speed: As well as being convenient, telephone assessments are also fast. Quick, early intervention in the return to work process is key, and conducting assessments by telephone means that we can offer our guarantee of contacting them within two working days, which would be near impossible to do with face-to-face contact.
In our line of work, telephone assessments provide a fast, convenient and most importantly, suitable, way of assessing patients and helping them back to work. For more information on the use of telephone assessments, visit http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/why-telephone-assessments-are-on-the-rise-in-oh/
Employers and GPs can now both refer their employees and patients to Fit for Work, provided they have been off work for four weeks or more. Find out more at www.fitforwork.org or call the Advice Line on 0800 032 6235.