Welcome to Our November 2020 Bulletin

/Board members/Shriti_Pattani

Dear Colleagues

Congratulations to Hilary Winch, Head of Workplace Health, Safety & Wellbeing at Norwich University Hospitals NHS Workplace Health who will be our next Chair of our Network, from April 2021.  Hilary has close links with the Network and FOM through her work with MOHAWK over the years.  Hilary will be an excellent Chair!

Over the last few months I have been working closely with HSE, PHE and FOM on work commissioned by SAGE to consider strategies to mitigate the occupational, workplace risks of COVID-19 for ethnic minority groups.  The consensus from this group was reflected in a statement from the Minister for Equalities on 22nd October 2020 and can be found at

https://www.fom.ac.uk/newsflash/covid-19-update-ethnicity-occupation-risk-reduction

Some of you have enquired about the QCOVID clinical risk stratification tool, which has been commissioned by the CMO Professor Chris Whitty.  It is a national, evidence-based, data-driven risk prediction model, to be made available  ‘to support GPs and specialists in consultations with their patients to provide more targeted advice based on individual levels of risk’.  It is also intended to be made available to clinicians in Occupational Health.  It is in its final stages and should be available before the new year.

Kind regards

Shriti Pattani

Chair

In this edition:

1.  Hilary Winch Appointed Network Chair Elect

2.  New Measures to Support Roll Out of Vaccines in the UK

3.  Priority Groups for Covid-19 Vaccination

4.  Clear Face Masks

5.  Work as a Health Outcome

6.  Occupational Health Records of Deceased Persons

7.  MoHaWK

8.  Wellbeing Thermometer

9.  Ask-A-Question

The next edition will be circulated week commencing 1 December 2020.

1.    Network Chair Elect

We are delighted to announce that Hilary Winch, Head of Workplace Health, Safety & Wellbeing at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been appointed as the Network Chair Elect and will succeed Shriti when her maximum four-year terms finishes at the end of March next year.

Hilary said “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to carry on many aspects of the excellent work Shriti and the Network Board have embarked on over the last few years.  The Network is recognised as one of the major occupational health membership organisations in the UK and has successfully established itself as the voice of NHS OH.  I look forward to hearing from colleagues around the country as we seek to shape our priorities over the next few years.”

2.    New Measures to Support Roll Out of Vaccines in the UK 

New laws allowing more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines have been introduced, the government has announced. 

The measures aim to save thousands of lives by increasing access to vaccines against potentially killer diseases.

They will also support the government’s plans for the rollout of a potential Covid-19 vaccine that is proven to be safe and effective through robust clinical trials and approved for use by the regulator.

Following a public consultation, changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 have come into force which will:

  • enable the expansion of the trained workforce who can administer Covid-19 and flu vaccines to improve access and protect the public. This will begin with those who already have experience in handling vaccinations but may currently work outside of NHS settings, such as independent nurses, allied healthcare professionals, paramedics, physiotherapists, pharmacists and student nurses and doctors. The expanded workforce will undergo a robust training programme to ensure patient safety is upheld to the highest standards;
  • implement reinforced safeguards to support the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to exceptionally grant temporary authorisation, pending the granting of a licence, for new vaccines and treatments needed to tackle public health threats - provided they meet the highest safety, quality and effectiveness standards and there’s a significant public health justification for doing so;

The full outcome to the consultation leading to these changes is available here

3.    Priority Groups for Covid-19 Vaccination

The JCVI have provided updated interim advice on Covid-19 vaccination.  The advice is available here

4.    Clear Facemasks

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is purchasing 250,000 clear facemasks from US company ClearMask.  They will be used by frontline NHS and social care workers who need to converse with people who rely on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate.

5.    Work as a Health Outcome

The Department for Work & Pensions and Department for Health & Social Care Joint Work and Health Unit commissioned Public Health England to lead a programme of work focused on embedding work as a health outcome within routine clinical practice. This was designed to support the delivery of the Government’s 2017 strategy set out in ‘Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability’.

In December 2019, a qualitative evaluation of two workstreams within the programme was commissioned: the Health and Work Medical Champion pilot and  the creation of the 2019 Health and Work Clinical Consensus Statement.  This evaluation took place between December 2019 and April 2020 and involved in-depth interviews with stakeholders engaged in both projects.

This  qualitative assessment was published this week and can be accessed here.   

6.    Occupational Health Records of Deceased Persons

The FOM has recently issued its latest guidance on ethical considerations relating to confidentiality and disclosure of occupational health records of deceased people.  The guidance is available here

7.    MoHaWK - Round 17 Remains Open until December!

About half the services that normally submit data have already done so for Round 17 – well done on undertaking this during these challenging times. For those services who still need to undertake their submission you have just over a month left to do to this.  The Faculty of Occupational Medicine recognises that many OH services have been under significant pressure or had significant disruption over the last few months due to COVID-19 and therefore is leaving the Round open until December (just prior to Round 18 commencing).   We have not added any extra sections for this round so you do not have to update any electronic reporting. 

The data collection for the majority of topics is the month of June and so you can pull your data accordingly. You may wish to just focus on one or two indicators per month making the data collection more manageable during these times.   

I have attached the briefing note for reference on the subject areas. Please do get in contact if you have any queries hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk 

8.    Wellbeing Thermometer

Our Chair, Dr. Shriti Pattani, has recently been involved in a project regarding a wellbeing ‘thermometer’.  The publication is available here

9.    Ask-A-Question

The month our Members have posed questions around the supplying of flu vaccines, BCG vaccination, and cumulative Coivd exposure.  Check out all the questions and answers here

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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 admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk   

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 here.

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 Shriti Pattani, Chair                                            chair@nhshealthatwork.co.uk

Andrew Gilbey, Network Manager                       admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk  

Postal address: NHS Health at Work, PO Box 857, York YO31 6FR