A FREE service has been launched by NHS Forth Valley to help anyone struggling to return to work after illness.

The initiative, which was operated in Covid-19 under a referral only basis, has now been brought back without the need of a referral.

The service will provide vocational rehabilitation, mental health support, counselling and physiotherapy.

Amanda Champan, NHS Forth Valley team lead, said: "This support can be particularly useful when an individual worker has been on long term sick leave.

"Confidence can quickly disappear after a few months at home and some people worry that they are not going to regain their fitness levels to move back into their old job.

"There are also self-employed people who don't have access to an occupational health service and individuals who do manage to work but are grappling with illness at the same time."

The free and confidential support will include rapid access to assessment advice, access to occupational therapy, physiotherapy, talking therapy, signposting to other relevant services and return to work action plans.

The service will also help people communicate with employers and employees to help facilitate a successful return to work when the time arises.

Amanda added: "Accepting support also speeds up the return-to-work process and reduces costs to the employer.

"Just having someone to talk to can make all the difference when it comes to recovery as addressing difficulties at work, physically or emotionally can go a long way to reducing the impact on their life!"

Anyone wishing to make use of the working health service at Forth Valley can contact them on 01324 616142 or fv.fvworkinghealthservices@nhs.scot.