May 2014 saw Obair welcoming a new member of staff – Ann Shearer, who has taken up the new role of Clinical Manager. Ann is based in Obair’s head Office at Trident House in Paisley and her role will include leading on the support and supervision of Obair’s Vocational Rehabilitation Evaluators who deliver the range of Obair products and to work with the Clinical Director to continue to maintain the quality of services to our customers. Ann will also retain her practitioner role providing high quality, innovative and evidence based Vocational Rehabilitation evaluations, services and interventions.
Ann, who is an occupational therapist who qualified in 2000, comes to Obair with considerable experience in Vocational Rehabilitation and Occupational Health. Her skills and knowledge extend to working in both the private and public sectors within the UK in the clinical specialties of musculoskeletal conditions, mental health and neurological conditions. Ann’s clinical skills include assessments in the work setting covering work site assessment, job demands analysis and ergonomics. Ann also has experience undertaking past and future care Medico-Legal assessments and is an accredited Matheson functional capacity evaluator.
Ann is committed to supporting the Obair Evaluators to further build a world class team using evidenced-based assessments and interventions with individuals, who due to injury, health condition or disability, are demonstrating restrictions in their functional or vocational capacity for work, enabling them to successfully retrain or return to work.
Anne Byrne, Obair’s Clinical Director was invited to present at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Faculty of Occupational Medicine’s Spring Conference on the 4th of April 2014.
The focus of the Spring Conference was Fitness for Work, and the title was “Fit for Work? Fit for What?” Topics covered in the conference included:
Anne was specifically requested to present on “Functional capacity evaluation and vocational rehabilitation in the assessment of and enabling successful fit for work outcomes”.
Anne’s 40 minute presentation considered the title in terms of international experience, practise and the literature and discussed functional capacity evaluation (FCE) in terms of what can be assessed and who can be assessed, and why Job Specific FCE is best suited to occupational health practise.
Anne shared her extensive experience as an occupational therapist working in occupational health in Canada where she helped set up and subsequently managed a highly successful, in terms of rehab and financial outcomes, an award winning employee rehabilitation unit. Drawing on her experience in Canada and her continued occupational health experience here in the UK, Anne’s main theme was to introduce Job Specific FCE using the Matheson approach to FCE and how it can be effective in objectively determining fitness for work and enable the timely and safe return to work. Anne discussed the evidence to support Job Specific FCE and what the evaluation entails, illustrating the use of an objective FCE and Job demands Analysis (JDA) to facilitate matching capacity for work to job demands.
Anne used a practical case example to illustrate what information can be gleaned from the evaluation and illustrated how Occupational Health practitioners can use the findings to:
Anne underlined the value and need for robust assessment in occupational health in order to ensure evidence based practise and to enable successful outcomes in return to work and maintenance at work.
For more information on how you can learn to use job specific functional capacity evaluations in Occupational Health please look at our training pages on our website.