Working with a treating doctor

Treating doctors play a critical role in helping injured workers recover. They are often the entry point to the healthcare system.

An injured worker’s nominated treating doctor (NTD) assesses, diagnoses and treats their patient following a workplace injury.

Communication between the worker, employer and NTD is key to getting the best outcomes when working with a treating doctor.

5 steps to work with general practitioners (GPs) to assist recovery and return to work

  1. Have a list of the workers duties and alternative work they can do
    Recovery at work is an important part of a workers’ treatment. Providing the worker’s GP with a list of tasks you could offer your worker as they recover will help everyone to plan ahead.
  2. Find the best way to communicate with the GP

    Early contact with the treating doctor will show your commitment to your worker's recovery.

    If you are unable to speak immediately with the GP, ask their receptionist for the best way to communicate with them. This could be a call back (leave your details and make sure you can be contacted), fax, email or even a face-to-face visit.

    There are templates you can use to help you. The job task analysis (JTA) form helps break down the tasks, skills and demands specific to a role or duty in the workplace. It is a useful tool to help you communicate the demands of the role and assist in developing a return to work plan.

  3. Give the injured worker flexibility to attend their treatment

    While you can encourage your worker to attend treatment outside of their work hours, there may be some instances where their appointments fall within their work time.

    Giving them some flexibility where this occurs means the worker can receive the treatment they need to recover in a timely, safe manner.

  4. Understand the Certificate of Capacity and ask questions you have

    The certificate of capacity is the main way in which the doctor communicates with you and other parties about what the worker can do as they recover and return to work. It will often contain information regarding the worker’s ability to perform day to day tasks, and work activities, and any treatment they may require.

    Speak with the GP if any of the information on the Certificate of Capacity is unclear. If there are certain tasks which the worker must perform and you need more details on the worker’s capacity, be sure to ask the GP to include this on the certificate.

  5. Seek help from the insurer, if required
    Support is available if you need more help in communicating with the GP. The insurer is able to speak with them on your behalf if you prefer. Alternatively, they can arrange a rehabilitation provider or other services to manage communications

Job task analysis template

Use the Job task analysis (JTA) template to examine and breakdown the skills and demands of specific tasks, roles or duties within the workplace. When you identify the needs of a task, role or duty, you can easily match a workers capability to recover at work based on their capacity.

Download the JTA template