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NHS Health at Work March e-bulletin

/Board members/Anne_de_Bono

Dear Colleagues

It is hard to believe that I am writing my last introduction to this bulletin. Four years as your Chair have passed remarkably quickly and enjoyably – for me at least. Thank you all for your support and your contributions to Network deliberations and influence, directly or via your Board representatives. Ali Hashtroudi and I will both step down at the end of March 2017, having served the maximum term as regional reps - please encourage colleagues to offer themselves as our successors.

I know that Dr Shriti Pattani will take up the role of Chair with enthusiasm and that she will be wonderfully supported, as I have been, by our Network Manager, Andrew Gilbey, and our Administrator, Wendy Coleman. To both I give my heartfelt thanks.

Items featured in the updates below include the achievements of NHS OH services in the ‘flu immunisation campaign this winter and the Network’s response to the government Green Paper on health work and disability. Responses from FOM, SOM and the Council for Work and Health have also suggested that multidisciplinary OH services in the NHS could play a significant role in making the aspirations of the Green Paper a reality. There is everything to play for!

Best wishes
Anne de Bono

The next edition will be circulated on 5th April.

In this edition:
1. Network Board vacancies
2. NHS Health at Work Network membership renewals
3. Work Health and Disability Green Paper
4. MoHaWK workshops
5. NHS GP health service
6. Certificate in OH Case Management
7. Mindfulness at Work Conference – April
8. IOSH guidance to help return to work after cancer treatment
9. GMC guidance on confidentiality and consultation on consent
10. Network ‘ask a question’
11. Flu fighter update
12. NHS Employers’ update
13. February/March 2017 Research Plus

1. Network Board vacancies

We are sorry to see 2 of our longest serving members of the Network Board give up their roles at the end of March, after the maximum tenure of 6 years. Dr Anne de Bono (East Midlands and current Chair) and Dr Ali Hashtroudi (London), have both been members of the Board since its inception in 2011 and have made a significant contribution to the development of the Network.

We are now seeking nominations for their replacements. If you would like to be more involved in the Network and feel that you could represent your colleagues in your region then please complete the relevant East Midlands or London application forms. Full details of the process are included in the forms.

The closing date is Friday 31st March and if you have any queries please contact

2. NHS Health at Work Network membership renewals

Renewal notices have now gone out to all current Network members, so if you haven’t received yours please contact NHS OH teams that are not members have also been invited to join for this year.

The Network plays an important strategic role in OH matters and is now well established as the voice of NHS occupational health services representing your views. It is the ‘go-to’ organisation for comment and advice on NHS OH and has good working relationships with key organisations such as NHS England, Public Health England, SEQOHS, NHS Employers, FOM, SOM, the Council for Work and Health, the National School of OH and the Faculty of OH Nursing.

Membership also provides more tangible benefits for its members, including:

  • A free place for the annual network conference.  This has received exceptional evaluation by delegates over the last few years. Dates for this year are 13th/14th September.
  • Access to MoHaWK, the clinical benchmarking tool.  The tool was completely refreshed in 2016 and a new and improved website was launched for Round 10. 
  • Monthly briefings bringing together the latest developments within the fast moving world of health and wellbeing.
  • Access to the members’ area of the Network website 
  • Discounted access to skills updating and training
  • 6 advance copies of ‘Research Plus

We are again offering an early bird rate of £650, compared with the full rate of £850, so please ensure that you return your renewal by 30th April 2017 to qualify.

Associate membership is also available to the following types of organisation, subject to Board approval:

  • Any social enterprise OH provider with an NHS background, which is fully SEQOHS accredited including the NHS standards and contracted to provide all core OH services to a statutory NHS organisation in England, or….
  • A University owned Occupational Health provider, which is fully SEQOHS accredited including the NHS standards and supports health care students in an NHS setting, or … 
  • An NHS owned and operated provider in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, which is either fully SEQOHS accredited, or registered and working towards FOM accreditation including the NHS standards, or…
  • A public sector, national NHS-related organisation (e.g. Public Health England), which is either fully SEQOHS accredited, or registered and working towards SEQOHS accreditation including the NHS standards, at the discretion of the Board.

If you fall into one of these categories and would like more information about joining the Network contact

3. Work Health and Disability Green Paper

Consultation on the Green Paper on ‘Work, Health and Disability: Improving Lives’ closed on 17th February. A Network response was submitted, which was developed following Board discussions and comments from Network members. A copy is available here.

You may also be interested to see the joint response from the FOM and SOM.

We will keep you informed of any developments and await the publication of the White Paper with interest.

4. MoHaWK workshops

We completed another excellent workshop in February which was well received by delegates -

  • I have gained knowledge and understanding of Mohawk and the benefits to our organisation
  • Good mix of presentations, group work, mini workshops with IT providers
  • This was a valuable event - good to understand that Mohawk is not just a paper exercise but to be used to improve services
  • Better understanding of Mohawk and how I can use it with my existing IT system
  • Gained a basic understanding of Mohawk - what data is required and what I need to do.

There is still an opportunity to attend a workshop in Bristol on 22nd March or Leeds on 5th April. To book your place please complete the registration form and return to

The workshops are available to all OH teams (NHS, public sector or commercial) and are free of charge.

Timing of future rounds

Following the two workshops that have taken place, feedback on the timings of the six monthly ‘rounds’ has been received and this will be changed from Round 11. Traditionally, the Round would take place in April/May - this will now be changed to June/July. The Autumn Round, Round 12, will also be changed from October/November to January/February.

Round 10 reports

If you haven’t pulled off your Round 10 organisation reports yet, guidance is available here. If you need further assistance then please contact

5. NHS GP health service

NHS England has developed a new NHS GP Health Service to improve access to mental health support for general practitioners and trainee GPs. The service will be provided by the Hurley Clinic and launched on 30 January 2017.

The service is an important part of a commitment to help retain a healthy and resilient workforce and to support GPs and GP trainees who wish to remain in or return to clinical practice after a period of ill health.

Further information about the service is available here or you can visit the new website here.

6. Certificate in OH Case Management – 12th-14th June 2017, Central London

The At Work Partnership is delighted to offer NHS Health at Work network members a discount of £200 + VAT for places on our Certificate in OH Case Management. This highly regarded, practical three-day qualification is designed to train occupational health and other professionals in the theory and practice of case management skills – in order to improve absence management, job retention and return-to-work outcomes. 

Book and pay by 15th April 2017 to qualify for our early bird rates.
More information is available here.

7. Mindfulness at Work Conference – 27th/28th April 2017

Research shows that embedding mindfulness in the workforce has the potential to significantly increase employee resilience, performance and emotional wellbeing. Mind & Matter is an established forum where senior leaders, HR, health and wellbeing leaders and mindfulness experts from across the private and public sectors get together to share evidence, best-practice and ideas around bringing mindfulness into the workforce.

Secure your place to hear the evidence and gain the tools to implement mindfulness into your workforce. Hear from Dr Justin Varney of Public Health England and Dame Yve Buckland of Royal Orthopaedic Hospital as they share how to build the business case for mindfulness and the results from a mindfulness programme.

NHS Health at Work Network members can claim 15% off published rates. Click here to obtain your discount code and book your place at

8. IOSH guidance to help return to work after cancer treatment

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health has published useful guidance on returning to work after cancer treatment. Based on recent research, it provides examples of good practice to help people stay in or return to work.

9. GMC guidance on consent

Last month we highlighted the new GMC guidance on confidentiality which was published in January and will come into effect on 25 April.

Consultation on consent is still live for patients to contribute and can be accessed here.

10. Network ‘ask a question’

In February we had questions on departmental structures, EAP schemes, OH technicians and using the Trust ICE system for lab requests and results.

To check out the answers or to provide more information on any of these topics, go to our webpage.

11. Flu fighter update

The January uptake figures show that a total 600,698 frontline staff have been vaccinated against flu, which equates to 63 per cent of the workforce. Again, this really showcases how much energy and dedication has gone into this year’s campaign.

12. NHS Employers’ update

Health and wellbeing webinar: Stress in the workplace
This webinair will be on Wednesday 22nd March, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.   Paula Brockwell from Robertson Cooper will talk about stress and you can hear good practice from across the NHS.  For more information or to register go to NHS Employers’ website.

Tackling bullying case study – London Ambulance Service
London Ambulance Service talk about their approach to tackling bullying in the workplace after being placed into special measures in 2015.  Find out what actions they took, what progress they have made and what they still have to do.

Podcast the importance of the clinical lead for staff wellbeing
Dr Julia Smedley, Head of Occupational Health at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, explains the importance of having a clinical lead in a staff health and wellbeing programme. Julia explains the importance of her role, the impact it has had, and the challenges she has faced.

13. February/March 2017 Research Plus

The February/March 2017 edition is now available on the website

The NHS Health at Work Network brings together all OH teams providing health and wellbeing services to NHS OH staff.  It is dedicated to providing consistent, high quality health at work services to all NHS staff through collaborative working.

Members of OH teams in NHS Health at Work Network member organisations can receive the bulletin and access the restricted areas of the website as a membership benefit – if you are not sure of your login details email Please share this bulletin with colleagues and encourage them to register to receive it regularly. Non-Network members can also register to receive the monthly bulletin.

You can contact the Network through your regional representative or as shown below. Please get in touch if you have any queries or comments, if there is anything you would like to see in future issues of the bulletin, or if you have news to share.

Dr Anne de Bono, Chair
Andrew Gilbey, Network Manager
Wendy Coleman, Network Administrator or

Postal address: PO Box 642, BS23 9NG
Tel: 07584 269322

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