Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Free occupational health for Scottish practice nurses

  • Comment

A new scheme to support occupational health among practice nurses and other primary care staff comes into force across Scotland from today.

The move, backed by £920,000, should mean that everyone who works for a GP practice in Scotland will now be able to access their local health board’s occupational health services free of charge.

“It will also help us to create a more sustainable workforce in the long-term”

Shona Robison

Scottish health secretary Shona Robison made the commitment to the British Medical Association earlier this year, in recognition of the contribution that primary care staff made to the health service.

The funding for the scheme will be provided on a recurring basis from this year onwards, the government also announced.

NHS Scotland’s occupational health service helps staff with issues like posture, recovering from injuries, back pain, returning to work after illness and workplace assessments.

Through the service, employees have access to a range of specialists including occupational health nurse practitioners, physiotherapists, consultants and specialist registrars.

Ms Robison said primary care was a “highly valued” part of our healthcare system in Scotland, and that part of recognising this was looking after practice staff.


Shona Robison

Shona Robison

“Occupational health is a key part of that,” she said. “This additional funding will mean that our GP practice staff will be able to benefit from more effective occupational health.

“I acknowledge that working in GP surgeries has its challenges and, therefore, it’s quite right that these valued members of the NHS family are able to take full advantage of these services,” she said.

“It will also help us to create a more sustainable workforce in the long-term,” Ms Robison added.

Dr Alan McDevitt, chair of the BMA’s Scottish GP committee, said: “Measures that provide continued support to practices are very welcome.

He added: “I am delighted that the Scottish government has committed recurring funding to ensure that all our staff will have free access to the occupational health service.”

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.