Work is a key social determinant of health. This makes work an important area of focus for addressing health inequalities in Scotland.
Work has obvious economic and social benefits for individuals. But what is sometimes overlooked is its importance to people's sense of self, health and well-being. It's these "overlooked" assets that Health Works addresses.
Health Works is fundamentally about boosting economic performance by promoting health, safety and well-being in the workplace. It's about increasing health care professionals' awareness of work as a key social determinant of health. And it's about improving support for people to move back into work after a period of ill health.
Health Works' actions are being delivered across Scotland through strong partnership working involving health, social and third sectors and in collaboration with complementary strategies and policies. Evidence of the actions' impacts is now beginning to emerge, and that's what this report focuses on.
It describes some of the examples of excellent practice we're now seeing, such as the collaborative working and learning resources produced by the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives, the Scotland-wide Working Health Service model that uses a case management approach to providing early interventions and positive outcomes for service users, and the embedding of the Scottish Health Offer across the country, with resultant benefits for patients and services.
Scotland had widely differing practice and standards on health and work before Health Works. It's fair to say we're now leading the way within the United Kingdom in addressing health and work in the NHS and developing partnerships with social services, trade unions, third sector organisations and businesses.
Michael Matheson, MSP
Minister for Public Health
Email: Judy Gibson