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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee



Sickness‐related worklessness is a blight on individuals, families, communities and economies. For many, being forced out of work or unable to find employment because of illness or disability is a disaster, setting them on a downhill path of benefit dependency, isolation from society, spiralling mental and physical health problems and poverty. The proportion of adults in Britain who are unable to work because of health problems has more than tripled since the 1970s, at an estimated annual cost to the economy of over £100 billion.

Worklessness due to ill health is often an unnecessary evil. Early diagnosis and treatment of health problems and adaptations made by employers and employees can help prevent long spells of sickness absence. Effective signposting of patients to rehabilitation programmes that increase their employability can help those on incapacity benefit to return to work. Amid the current economic climate means that unemployment is rising across the board, and not just among those with health conditions, but the recovery will be slowed both by the burden of incapacity benefits and if employers have a weakened pool of workers on which to draw as they attempt to regain lost ground.


2020health Report Working Together

Working Together

Promoting work as a health outcome as the NHS reforms. read on Working Together