N. Nobar1, G. Daniel2

1Medigold Health, London, UK

2Medigold Health, Birmingham, UK


There are few opportunities for GPs (General Practitioners) to learn about Occupational Health (OH) practices at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Referenced in the RCGP curriculum, but not as a standalone topic(1), it has been suggested that GPs may have limited understanding(2,3) of and be suspicious(4) of OH input. A review of the existing literature suggested this subject had not been researched in the UK recently.


This study sought to explore GP and GP trainee attitudes towards OH, investigating how these have changed.


Participants were surveyed using anonymised online questionnaires distributed through peer networks. Respondents without recent NHS experience and those with OH experience or qualifications were excluded.

Results and Conclusions:

58 responses were included. GP perception has changed from OH acting primarily in the best interest of patients to acknowledging the dual focus of the specialty. Awareness of OH roles in health screening and promotion has decreased. 22.4% agreed GPs should advocate for patients. 32.8% felt ‘negative’ about receiving requests from OH and 50% disagreed with prioritising OH over other non-NHS work. Most participants would prefer to respond using a standardised template. GP perception that information supplied to OH may negatively impact their patient’s employment may limit their communication with OH, the usefulness of OH input and potentially impede the return-to-work process. Evidence has shown that work improves health outcomes. The study highlights the need for improving understanding and communication between GPs and OH to improve patient outcomes.


  1. The RCGP Curriculum: Being a General Practitioner London: RCGP; 2019 [cited 2024, February 28]. Available from: https://www.rcgp.org.uk/getmedia/38f37bbe-f677-429f-90e9-37f855b0ae16/curriculum-being-a-gp-rcgp_26-10-22.pdf.
  2. Parker G. General practitioners and occupational health services. British Journal of General Practice. 1996;46(406):303-5.
  3. Elms J, O'Hara R, Pickvance S, Fishwick D, Hazell M, Frank T, et al. The perceptions of occupational health in primary care. Occupational Medicine. 2005;55(7):523-7.
  4. PARKER G. Attitudes of General Practitioners to Occupational Health Services. Occupational Medicine. 1991;41(1):34-6.
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