Sector Spotlight

Making workplace rehabilitation easy

Helping your patients after injury isn’t always straightforward. Here’s more information on how ACC’s Stay at Work (SAW) vocational rehabilitation service can make it much easier for clients whose injuries allow them to rehabilitate safely at work.





SAW’s operating principle, based on a significant body of research, is that where practical recovery from injury is best achieved at work. However, this must be supported by early and intensive interventions that enable patients to heal and re-integrate into the workplace.

It’s a flexible service that adapts to your patients’ needs. Four levels of support are available, depending on the severity of the injury and the challenge of returning your patients to the workplace. They are provided by local occupational therapists and physiotherapists who know the employers in the area and understand how to help people back to work safely.

These levels of support are detailed in the table below:

Service Level Service
SAW 1 To help clients with simple rehab needs to return to their pre-injury employment or temporarily modified jobs with their current employer.
SAW 2 To help clients with moderate needs who require rehabilitation to return to their pre-employment or modified jobs with their current employer – this may require the use of a multi-disciplinary team.
SAW 3 Similar to SAW Level 2, but a more extensive service is provided – this will require a multi-disciplinary team to achieve a return to work.
For clients with complex rehabilitation needs to achieve an early return to work. Service elements and timeframes will be negotiated as part of the rehabilitation plan.

How to request SAW for your patient

Requesting SAW support is quick and easy.

If you operate in the northern half of the North Island and currently use the new eACC18 medical certificate, simply click the “return to work assistance required” box on the certificate. An ACC case manager will quickly respond to discuss your request. If SAW is right for your patient, we will refer them to the service.

Alternatively, GPs in the same region can call us free on 0508 ACC RTW (0508 222 789) between 8am and 5pm to discuss the service options available to your patient.

In February next year, access to SAW will be the same for all GPs. However, until then, if you operate south of Taranaki/Taupo/Hawke’s Bay, just call your patient’s case manager. They may recommend using SAW as part of the rehabilitation process and arrange for a SAW provider to contact your patient.

More information on how SAW can benefit your patients is available here.

Published 19/12/2012

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