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What is Fit for Work?
Fit for Work is a unique multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to better align the work and health agendas in the EU and beyond to drive policy change at EU level and at national government level towards earlier detection and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).  Undertaken by The Work Foundation, the Fit for Work research is supported by a research grant from Abbott, a global, broad-based health care company.  Fit for Work reports are produced independently by the Work Foundation, with full editorial control resting with The Work Foundation alone.

What is the Fit For Work Coalition?                                                                                                 The Fit for Work Coalition is a unique coming together of patients, physicians, policy makers and society representatives, all of whom believe in the importance of early detection, prevention and management of MSDs in the workplace. Their vision is to shift MSDs from disabling conditions to manageable conditions, ensuring that more European citizens stay in work, and help improve the sustainability of Europe's health and social systems. The Coalition aims to impress upon policymakers and relevant stakeholders the importance of placing MSDs on the priority list at EU and national level, and to improve the clinical, employer and related approaches for managing MSDs.

What does Fit for Work hope to achieve?
Health, social and welfare policies favouring early intervention in the area of MSDs are needed to maintain a fit European workforce. Fit for Work aims to provide the evidenced-based research to demonstrate the benefits of early detection and intervention in the management of MSDs and the potential resulting improvement in labour market participation. Governments, business, the healthcare community and patients need to collaborate to deliver policies that enable those living with MSDs to maintain active healthy lives and participate in the workforce.

Which countries has Fit for Work examined?
Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

Once you have the results of these studies what are you going to do with them?
The UK report, Fit for Work? Musculoskeletal Disorders and Labour Market Participation, achieved wide stakeholder interest when it was launched and stimulated Government thinking on early diagnosis and intervention of MSDs.  It is the intention that the findings and recommendations be used to inform both policy and practice by Governments, healthcare professionals, employers and employees throughout the EU and beyond.

Are other interested parties involved? 
The Work Foundation’s research has included data collection and dialogue with representatives from policy, health and labour arenas, and in some cases partnerships with organisations active in these fields.  This novel approach aims to ask employers, physicians and politicians to broaden their thinking about what should be defined as important and desirable approaches for diagnosis, prevention and care—including specific outcomes such as remaining in work and to put in place the systems to intervene early and effectively to achieve these outcomes. 

What are you expecting from policymakers?
The findings and recommendations drawn from The Work Foundation’s research will be different for every country.  As in the UK, it is hoped that the findings and recommendations will be used to inform both policy and practice by Governments, healthcare professionals and employers throughout the EU and beyond.

Who supports Fit For Work? 
Fit for Work Europe is a partnership of organizations and individuals that enjoys the patronage of The Work Foundation, the Bone & Joint Decade, EULAR and a broad range of stakeholders. Fit for Work Europe is supported by an ongoing grant from Abbott - a founding partner - and a supporting grant from GE Healthcare.