When patients need help in the workplace
Despite the best intentions, your patient’s return to work program may not always progress as expected. In these instances, you may feel that specialised support will help them to get back to work. Workplace rehabilitation providers (WRPs) are approved by WorkCover WA to operate within the Western Australian worker’s compensation scheme. WRPs provide practical support and assist injured workers to return to safe and sustainable work as soon as it is medically appropriate.
Injured workers are entitled to claim the reasonable costs associated with return to work services. The insurer managing the claim can advise the amounts available for workplace rehabilitation and explain the referral process.
WRPs cover a range of health professions, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy and psychology. Their role is to identify any physical, psychological or workplace barriers that may prevent your patient from returning to work, and to address those barriers through creating a tailored return to work program. WRPs also provide a communication conduit between the worker, their employer and service providers.
You can refer your patient to a WRP if you think it would be helpful. You are particularly encouraged to consider this option if:
- the relationship between your patient and their employer has broken down
- your patient has a severe or complex injury
- your patient’s capacity for work is difficult to determine
- you think psychosocial factors may impact on your patient’s successful return to work
If you feel your patient needs to be referred to a WRP, you should discuss it with them and note it on the Certificate of Capacity. The choice of WRP rests with the injured worker, however if you know of a suitable WRP for your patient’s needs, you can note that WRP’s details on the Certificate of Capacity to expedite the referral process. Otherwise, the insurer will initiate and manage the WRP referral and coordinate the return to work services needed by your patient.
You can learn more about WRPs on the injury management page.