United Kingdom — Sheffield occupational health advisory service and its role in improving access to psychological therapies


Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service (SOHAS) provides confidential support relating to job retention and rehabilitation to people with work-related ill-health. In 2009, SOHAS partnered with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Sheffield to provide specialist employment advice to patients with mental health conditions who had been referred for psychological therapies to help them remain in work. Using a modified Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), action plans are developed with the client for return to work. These are discussed with the employer to maximise return-to-work success. Of all service users, 95 % felt that the service helped to keep them at work, with 32 % reporting that they would otherwise have left their jobs. Communication was a critical success factor, both between the service and medical professionals and between individuals and employers, and documentation of the rehabilitation process through the action plans also played an important role. The WRAP tool would be suitable for other types of work-related health issues, provided that a service provider like IAPT is in place.

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