December bulletin

/Board members/Shriti_PattaniDear Colleagues

The concerns about health of doctors has been high on the agenda over the last few months. I have recently attended meetings with the GMC and Health Education England to discuss the health of doctors and also the provision of OH services in the NHS.

I have been talking with PHP about ways of working more effectively together to support doctors returning to work and we are making good progress. I will inform you of the outcome early in the New Year.

The recurrent and re-assuring theme from these meetings is acknowledgment that in-house Occupational Health Services in the NHS add value and should receive the support and recognition given to other clinical services. I look forward to reading the reports due to be published following these meetings one of which was being prepared for the Secretary of State who has expressed an interest in visiting an NHS Occupational Health Service.

Later this week I am attending a meeting at the RCN to raise the profile of mental health in nurses and how we can support ‘caregivers’ effectively.

I hope that with the attention on healthcare workers, the profile of NHS Occupational Health will receive a boost in the New Year.

In the meantime I wish you all a joyful festive season and a healthy, happy new year.

Shriti Pattani
Network Chair

The next edition will be circulated on 9th January 2019.

In this edition:

1. MoHaWK – Round 14 
2. Occupations in short supply
3. New framework on employer voluntarily reporting health related issues linked to the themes of disability, mental health and well-being in the workplace
4. Developing workforce safeguards
5. Certificate in Managing Occupational Health Services – Network member discount
6. 16 days of action against domestic abuse
7. NSOH newsletter
8. Guidance on occupational asthma
9. Lungs at Work courses
10. NMC Nursing Code
11. Essential legal skills for OH professionals – Network member discount
12. Work exposure limits
13. Flu fighter update
14. NHS Employers update


1. MoHaWK - Round 14 is nearly here

It’s nearly time again to consider submitting data to the MoHaWK system. 
Round 14 will take data from the month of December and data entry will commence in January.  The briefing note is available here.

At request of many users, it is anticipated that a paper record keeping audit will be added to the system by the time the Round opens - therefore the information required to collate and a tool to aid data collection is available. Any queries do contact

2. Occupations in short supply

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is inviting stakeholders to provide evidence on occupations in the UK that are in short supply to inform their review of the shortage occupation list.  

The MAC is taking a new approach to this latest call for evidence and is focusing on specific job titles.  The Network has submitted a response more generally to cover specialist occupational health doctor and nurse roles, however, we would urge our Members to submit their own evidence of shortages at a local level directly to the MAC. Responses must be submitted via the online form by 11:45pm on 6 January 2019.

You can also read more about this on the NHS Employers website.  

3. New framework on employer voluntarily reporting health related issues linked to the themes of disability, mental health and well-being in the workplace

The Government believes that transparency and reporting can support the cultural change required to build a more inclusive society.  The voluntary reporting framework has been developed by the government in partnership with leading businesses and third sector organisations to support employers to voluntarily report information on disability, mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.  It is aimed at organisations with over 250 employees, but can be used by employers of any size.

The framework also sets out:

  • the benefits of increased transparency in the workplace
  • guidance on how data can be collected, and where it can be reported
  • links to further support

4. Developing workforce safeguards

NHS Improvement has published a document entitled “Developing Workforce Safeguards’. This aims to provide a more evidence-based approach to safe staffing levels in clinical settings in the NHS. Health and Work Network Members may wish to take note of the document when thinking about their future NHS occupational health recruitment and quality delivery strategies.

5. Certificate in Managing Occupational Health Services – Network member discount

25 – 27 March 2019, 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 Managing Occupational Health Services.

This three-day Certificate programme is designed to equip you with the essential management tools to deliver a successful occupational health service.
Book and pay by 31 January 2019 to qualify for our early bird rates.
More information is available here.

6. 16 days of action against domestic abuse

Public Health England are supporting a 16 days of action campaign which started on 25 November. The campaign is aimed at businesses to support them to take action against domestic abuse and violence. Further information, including a toolkit and resources is available here.

7. NSOH newsletter

The National School for Occupational Health has issued its autumn newsletter, which is available here.

8. Guidance on occupational asthma

The Faculty and Society of Occupational Medicine (FOM and SOM) have published joint guidance on their ‘Why Occupational Health’ website. This includes sections for GPs and practice nurses, plus employers and employees.

9. Lungs at Work courses

The Heart and Lung Institute is offering the following courses in London:

  • Lung Function Testing in the Workplace - Introductory Level - Wednesday 6 March 2019
  • Lung Function Testing in the Workplace – Intermediate Level - Thursday 4 April 2019
  • Introductory Medical Statistics (2 day course) - Thursday 23 to Friday 24 May 2019 – registration to open shortly
  • Occupational Lung Disease – Keeping Up to Date – 12 September 2019.  NB. Network members can claim £25 discount on this update, bringing the cost to £150 - please email for details.

FOM accreditation has been requested for all the above courses. Further information and registrations details are available on the course webpage.

10. NMC Nursing Code

In October, the NMC published a revision to its Nursing Code (January 2015) to reflect the regulation of nursing associates. A copy is available here.

11. Essential Legal Skills for OH professionals – Network member discount

Legal Experience Training offer 5% off their Essential Legal Skills for Occupational Health Professionals course fees for NHS Health at Work Network members, and their next course will run on the 13 and 14 December 2018 in London. Additionally, a further discount of 15% off each course place is available on booking, when 2 or more colleagues book and pay together.

More information is available here.

12. Work exposure limits

New workplace exposure limits for 31 substances have been introduced from 21 August 2018. This latest version of EH40 has been updated to include new and revised workplace exposure limits (WELs) introduced by the 4th Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELV) Directive. It will guide those responsible for controlling exposure to hazardous substances at work.

13. Flu fighter update

October 2018 uptake figures
Public Health England have released the flu vaccination uptake figures for 1 September to 31 October 2018. So far, a total of 444,505 frontline staff have been vaccinated, representing 46.3 per cent of eligible frontline healthcare workers. This shows an increase of 6,785 more frontline healthcare workers receiving their flu vaccine compared to the same period last year. 

Please see a summary of the most improved and top performing acute, mental health, ambulance and community trusts on the NHS Employers website to see how your trust has performed.

Study shows ‘emotion’ is key in encouraging flu vaccine uptake
Kingston University led research has found ‘connecting emotionally’ with your healthcare workers, as well as, leading by example can encourage uptake of the flu vaccine, especially when persuading those hesitant to get the flu jab. Read a summary of the study and our recommendations for trusts looking to improve uptake of the flu vaccine on the NHS Employers website.

Flu fighter goes to Westminster 
The flu fighter team attended Westminster Flu Day on Tuesday 20 November to talk with MPs and Peers about the importance of the flu jab for frontline healthcare workers and social care staff. Take a look at the twitter hashtag #WestminsterFluDay to see what we got up to on the day.

14. NHS Employers update

Health and wellbeing conference
Our annual health and wellbeing conference is back and will take place on Wednesday 13 March 2019, at Horizon Leeds. The conference is for NHS health and wellbeing leads to come together to share good practice and how to overcome challenges. More details to follow soon.

Join Public Health England’s e-learning sessions
Public Health England (PHE) are developing e-learning to support people with long term health issues to stay in work or to support those who are going back to work. Help shape the sessions by contacting PHE and giving feedback on the e-learning as it is developed. If you want to be involved email by 18 January.

Healthy eating initiative
You are invited to work with the Behavioural Insights Team and University College London on an initiative which encourages healthier eating choices at work. Participating organisations need to operate a cashless payment system and have sufficient numbers of staff who regularly buy lunch from the canteen. For more information on the project and how to participate please contact

Men's mental health and work
Take a look at a new report from The Work Foundation on men's mental health in the workplace. The report looks into the changes that have influenced men’s role in the workplace and the impact of this on their mental health and offers helpful recommendations for employers.

NHS staff sickness absence data for July 2018
Take a look at the July 2018 sickness absence figures released by NHS Digital. How is your organisation doing?

LGBT in Britain: Health Report
Read the recommendations in the latest Stonewall report which uncovers the alarmingly high rates of poor mental health experienced by lesbian, gay, bi and trans in Britain today. 

Menopause and the workplace
Access our information which aims to help HR colleagues, managers and employees to support colleagues working through the menopause. 

Dry January
How are you gearing up to support your staff after the festive season? Dry January challenges you to go alcohol free for 31 days and aims to raise awareness of the effects of alcohol.

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 Shriti Pattani, Chair
Andrew Gilbey, Network Manager
Wendy Coleman, Network Administrator

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