‘More Help Needed’ For Musculoskeletal Disorder Sufferers

Concerns Raised Regarding Government, NHS and Employer Support


New research has suggested that more should be done to ensure that sufferers of chronic musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are given the support they need to continue to work.

According to the study by Lancaster University’s Work Foundation and the Fit for Work UK Coalition, employees stated they were concerned about asking for help as they felt it could may lead to problems with their line managers.

It also found that many smaller employers in particular are not aware of government schemes related to the issue such as Access to Work, while employees outlined they need support from trade unions and occupational health in order to gain the necessary adjustments in the workplace.

The report recommended that the Government should aim to increase awareness of and participation in Access to Work, while employers should understand their responsibilities and provide support to affected workers.

Patient organisations were also asked to do more to share resources and information on self-management of such conditions and employment in general.

Expert Opinion
Through our work on behalf of people who have suffered workplace injuries, we have seen the significant impact that MSDs can have on victims - and why they often require specialist support to help them cope with such issues.

"This report has raised significant concerns related to how many organisations are treating this issue and it seems that while support initiatives are in place, there is a level of disconnect in terms of how such schemes are being promoted to small businesses in particular.

"The health and safety of workers should always be a priority to employers and it is vital that all businesses pay attention to these findings. It is also important that the Government and health bodies consider what they can do to improve the situation for those with MSDs.

"Action must be taken to ensure that anyone affected by this issue gets the help they require."
Mark Allen, Associate Director