HC Deb 15 September 2004 vol 424 cc1622-3W
Mr. Dismore

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to promote rehabilitation services for people injured at work; and if he will make a statement. [R] [186481]

Jane Kennedy

The Government are taking many steps to promote rehabilitation services for people injured or sick, whether the cause is work related or not. These include the Department's work to produce and publish a Framework for Vocational Rehabilitation. This framework will demonstrate the Government's commitment to vocational rehabilitation, and in the short term will help to improve understanding of what vocational rehabilitation is and the support that currently exists.

In the longer term, the framework will take additional steps to further promote rehabilitation services for people injured at work.

The Health and Safety Commission in their new strategy recognised the need to strengthen their role in promoting healthier workplaces and in getting people back to work through a much greater emphasis on rehabilitation. The Health and Safety Executive has therefore developed a best practice approach to help employers and managers, in partnership with their employees and their representatives, to proactively manage long-term sickness absence and help those who are absent from work due to skis ness. In addition, existing occupational health services also have a role in promoting a return to work after an accident has occurred. NHS Plus, a network of occupational health departments in the NHS, provides such services, which are particularly focused on small and medium sized enterprises.

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