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Mental health and work: what’s next?
  1. Sharon A M Stevelink1,2,
  2. Alexandra Pollitt3,
  3. Ira Madan4
  4. On behalf of the OPTIMUM consortium
  1. 1 Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK
  2. 2 King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London, London, UK
  3. 3 The Policy Institute, King’s College London, London, UK
  4. 4 Occupational Health Department, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ira Madan, Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 7EH, UK; ira.madan{at}

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In 2008, Professor Dame Carol Black1 published her groundbreaking report, Working for a Healthier Tomorrow (the Black Report), which contained 10 key recommendations to bring about positive change in the health of the working-age population in the UK (box 1). The government accepted her recommendations and promised to prioritise and invest in the health and work agenda.2 Just over a decade on, it is time to reflect on some of the progress made to date.

Box 1

Dame Carol Black’s review of the health of Britain’s working age populationreview4

  • Government, healthcare professionals, employers and trade unions should adopt a new approach to health and work in Britain.

  • Government should work with employers and representative bodies to develop a model for measuring and reporting on the benefits of employer investment in health and well-being.

  • Government initiated business-led health and well-being consultancy services for smaller organisations.

  • Government should promote the benefits of work to health among employers, healthcare professionals and the general public.

  • Support general practitioners and healthcare professionals to provide tailored advice to people focusing on fitness for work.

  • Introduction of an electronic fit note.

  • Pilot a Fit for Work Service*.

  • Wide implementation of Fit for Work Service once an appropriate model has been established and expand the provision of Pathways to Work† to a wider range of possible beneficiaries.

  • Deliver an integrated approach to working-age health supported by the inclusion of occupational health and vocational rehabilitation within mainstream healthcare; clear professional leadership; sound academic base; systematic gathering and analysis of data; awareness and understanding of latest evidence and what interventions work; and so on.

  • Strengthening of cross-departmental working within …

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  • Contributors All authors were involved in drafting and editing the paper.

  • Funding This editorial is based on a work from the OPTIMUM consortium funded by the King’s Together Fund, King’s College London.

  • Competing interests SAMS’ salary is partly paid by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.