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FT Adviser - Government ditches fit for work referral service

By Simoney Kyriakou  2 January 2018.

Group insurance providers have slammed the way the government's Fit for Work referral service, which closed on 15 December, was implemented in the first place.

On 30 November, David Gauke, secretary of state for work and pensions, told the House of Commons that the Fit for Work scheme, which was set up in December 2014 to help offer health and workplace advice to employees, employers and GPs, was closing its referral and assessment service.

The referral service, offering occupational health assessments for employees who are at risk of long-term sickness absence, failed to get as many referrals by employers and GPs as the Department for Work & Pensions had expected.

There were just 650 referrals a month in England and Wales, compared with the original forecast of 34,000, and 100 a month in Scotland, compared with the estimated 4,200.

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