RehabWorks is delighted to announce that we have launched a new digital wellbeing platform with a focus on mental health.
Our new digital platform is part of our EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) and enables organisations to access the latest advice, best practice information and insights into both physical and emotional wellbeing.
The platform contains a combination of podcasts, videos and clinical articles, pointing to evidence-based advice and preventative recommendations.
Jane Muston, RehabWorks clinical director of mental health, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing this new platform to our customers, and providing another significant tool in enabling them to be proactive about health and wellbeing in the workplace.
“Manager education is so vital, as it means colleagues can be referred early. This tool plays an important part in that process, and ensures an evolving supply of truly relevant information for employees and those who are responsible for staff.”
She added: “There is, of course, a broad spectrum of how much any individual may be affected, but it is imperative we make it easier for employees to talk about how they are experiencing issues of poor mental health, and that we make it simpler for organisations to not only spot signs, but to signpost their colleagues to the right help.
We are supporting our customers with open dialogue, and greater awareness. This ensures businesses are likely to see less presenteeism, increased productivity, and more workplace satisfaction overall.”
From RehabWorks’ perspective, better support for both employers and staff must be the ultimate objective.
It’s been in recent days that the government has confirmed it is to scrap its Fit For Work scheme, and so we’re applauding the intention to instead explore a more flexible approach to ‘fit note’ usage throughout the UK.
As an award-winning company which leads on evidence-based occupational health solutions, RehabWorks played a direct role in reporting to the government on the progress and success of the Fit For Work initiative.
Clinical Director Mark Armour participated as a member of the Clinical advisory group.
He said: “The Fit for Work initiative was always very well intentioned, but it was held back for a few reasons, including the difficulty a national service has in understanding specific occupational issues and liaising effectively with employers about the return-to-work strategy for their members of staff.
“What we’ve seen in the confirmation this week is that there is now intent to extend the Fit Note certification powers to other healthcare professionals, having considered the way the previous approach has been working.
“We very much welcome this news and believe it will make a significant difference to the care received by staff, and experienced within companies as a whole, if the likes of physiotherapists and Psychological Therapists are also allowed to certify.”
Mental Health and musculoskeletal issues are the two most significant reasons for absence in the workplace, according to our data, and that attained by the HSE and the CIPD.
We’ve seen a growing need in recent years to be able to educate both employers and staff about what is available to them, and what likely ‘return to work’ programmes might be available for an employee.
Mr Armour added: “Our focus is always to support people with mental health and other conditions to stay in work where possible, with full liaison with the employer.
“We’ve welcomed recent news in the employee health arena that a new and more flexible model for supporting those with mental health issues in particular, is to be fully explored.
“While the news confirming the end to the Fit For Work initiative does ultimately mean an end to one particular concept, we very much feel that it is now paving the way for a strategy which focuses on wider certification potential and more awareness.
“However, one caveat to offer is that frontline NHS employees will need to be upskilled in order to plan appropriate programmes for return-to-work or remaining in post during health issues.”
As a company, we work with a broad spectrum of clients, which range in size and focus from small SMEs to large employers, such as John Lewis Partnership, in the Corporate sector, to NHS Trusts and large Public Sector bodies. Our services cover everything from an Employee Assistance Program to much more extensive Wellbeing Programs, with associated care pathways to provide solutions for more complex Mental Health issues.
Each year, we support some 50,000 individuals in getting back to good health.
In the week that marks Anti-Bullying Week throughout the UK, RehabWorks has launched a Bullying and Harassment workshop, following a popular and successful pilot scheme with one of the UK’s largest central government departments.
We have been delivering interactive and educational sessions on this area for several years, but have recently scaled up our workshop offering in recent months to allow for the growing demand from businesses UK-wide.
Our latest workshop has been rigorously developed with a network of skilled trainers, and pays particular attention to the growing ‘employer fears’ around cyber-bullying in the workplace, as well as more traditionally recognised harassment issues.
Tom Bivins, our Preventative Services Lead, and the practitioner who re-developed the original workshop format, said: “We’ve helped hundreds of employees and managers in recent years who have either encountered bullying in the workplace and want a pathway for resolving the problem, or those who feel they want to prevent a culture of bullying from ever developing.
“What we’ve seen is that in the last 12 months in particular, companies have really started to articulate their fears around this topic, and recognise the financial, legal and moral implications of simply doing nothing.
“The increased demand we’ve seen at RehabWorks led us to explore a new pilot, where we could bring our workshop right up to date for today’s workforce, with a lot of emphasis on proactive role-play, signposting, and detailing the true consequences for an employee’s wellbeing and overall mental health.”
An increase in publicity around mental health impact, and some high-profile legal cases around workplace negligence, may have given rise to more employers considering their strategy around harassment and bullying.
“There are a number of reasons which drive company owners and HR managers to want to develop a better commitment around these areas,” said Tom.
“Certainly, we believe that better mental health campaigning has been one such prompt for today’s firms. What we ensure our courses deliver, is that they grant employers a clear understanding between what is indeed bullying, as opposed to ‘firm management’.
“Making that distinction very often has people saying to us ‘I hadn’t realised how poor my behaviour had been’, or ‘I’m aware that I’ve actually managed that employee in a completely unacceptable or discriminatory way’.”
RehabWorks has delivered its training to companies of broadly differing sizes – from family run firms, to large corporates with international offices. This has enabled managers not only to recognise signs within their workplace, but to implement strategies and solutions which make a significant difference to employee retention and wellbeing.
“The feedback we’ve received from companies – across the board – has been exceptional,” commented Tom.
“Our course participants very quickly identify the positive benefits and are eager to change aspects of their workplace functions in order to ensure a healthier and happier environment for all employees. Ultimately, this not only helps individual wellbeing and retention, but it creates a huge cost saving – because of reduced sickness or re-hire costs – for the company itself.
“It really is a win-win for employers to explore the issue in this way, and we’re pleased to be facilitating such a valuable insight for businesses.”
For more information about RehabWorks’ new Bullying and Harassment Workshop, contact 0333 222 0710.
RehabWorks, the award-winning healthcare business headquartered in Bury St Edmunds, is to become a market-leading joint entity with Crystal Palace Physio Group.
The acquisition of Crystal Palace Physio Group has been formally completed in recent days by Archimed SAS, a health-focused private equity fund which owns RehabWorks and which also acquired Right Corecare in 2015.
With a turnover circa £6million, and a network of 12 sites in London and the South East, the newly acquired physiotherapy business is a specialist provider of Musculoskeletal (MSK) services to both the corporate and NHS markets.
Derrick Farrell, CEO of RehabWorks, will head up the combined entity.
He said: “We are very pleased to be announcing the coming together of RehabWorks and Crystal Palace Physio Group.
“This is an important step in our ongoing journey of respected healthcare provision, and in pushing the business towards becoming the leading UK provider of Musculoskeletal and Mental Health solutions.”
Mr Farrell believes the expertise and experience within the Crystal Palace Physio Group will be invaluable for the intentions of the combined business.
He added: “The NHS represents a growing opportunity for our chosen disciplines, and the ability to set up an owned network to support our growing corporate proposition will become more important over the coming years.
“Merging our businesses will be done in a careful and considered way to ensure our staff and customers benefit from the emerging operating model.”
Stuart Paterson, the current managing director and owner of Crystal Palace Physio Group, will remain with the combined business. He will join the Board with immediate effect.
Commenting on the acquisition activity, Stuart said: “Joining the business clearly represents an exciting opportunity to create a national brand across target markets.
“The culture and brand of Crystal Palace Physio Group has always been important to us, and in RehabWorks, we believe we have found a partner that is very much aligned with our vision.”
He added: “The combined size of the organisation, along with the backing of Archimed will continue to ensure the long-term success of the business.”
The combined businesses will now have a staff-force of 334, across 20 sites around the UK.
RehabWorks already has centres in Bury St Edmunds, Manchester, Fareham, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Glasgow, Rotherham and Swindon.