- Faculty of Occupational Medicine - https://www.fom.ac.uk -

Competency 2 – Good Clinical Care: Be willing to listen to a patient’s views, aspirations and fears.

Objective: to understand and manage the legal and ethical implications of advice on suitability for work


Be willing to listen to a patient’s views, aspirations and fears.

Good medical practice describes it as important to establish a patient-centred consultation. This incorporates the agendas of both the doctor and the patient.

A patient has a unique experience of their condition and normally includes the feelings, thoughts, concerns and effect on life that any sickness induces.

By listening to a patient’s views, aspirations and fears the following advantages can be achieved:

Understand the differing needs of employer and employee.


As an employer there are certain requirements that need to be satisfied when exploring an employee’s suitability for work. This is a legal requirement and is covered by The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in which the duties of an employer are:

It is essential for employers when considering an employee’s suitability for work whether at pre-employment or following a period of sickness to ensure the following:


As an employee possibly returning to work, or considering a post, the needs may be very different. Often, this is complex and governed by several factors:

  1. Biological factors i.e.: disease, ill health, functional ability
  2. Personal i.e.: Motivation to work or return to work, strongly held beliefs about work and health, resilience, or psychological well being.
  3. Social i.e.: financial, family commitments or demands