An NHS trust has begun a pilot scheme offering employees fast-track
treatment in a bid to get them back to work as fast as possible.
Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust began the trial among its 3,500 staff
in April, and it will run for six months.
Under the scheme, employees are offered fast-track A&E and outpatient
treatment and consultations, although the trust stressed that no member of the
public would have an appointment cancelled and no treatment targets would be
jeopardised as a result.
Staff will be able to get outpatient consultations within one month of
referral, and in-patient treatment within three months, or the next available
"If we can keep our staff healthy, then we can provide more and better
services to the community," said Nick Groves, the trust’s director of
The scheme is also expected to reduce costs because managers will be able to
cut the number of agency staff they need to cover for absent trust employees.
The trust’s OH department would also have an important role to play in being
the main port of call if staff feel that for whatever reason the process is not
working for them, he said.
But the trust scrapped an idea to pass administration of the scheme to the
OH department, deciding such a move would be too unwieldy and bureaucratic.