NHS Health at Work July bulletin

/Board members/Giles_Wright

Dear Colleagues,
It is an absolute pleasure to be writing my first introduction to the network bulletin. I’m very proud to be part of the Network Board. Is it me or does Occupational Health seem to be in the spotlight, perhaps, more than usual? In the region I work in there is lots of conversation about the OH workforce. It’s very timely to have the opportunity to contribute the OH workforce survey (item 2 below) and I am sure the results will be very useful.

Lots of ‘talk’ already in my Trust about this coming flu season as a result of news stories surrounding the situation in Australia in particular. This year Public Health England are taking the lead on supporting the national staff campaign. More information in item 5 and in future bulletins.

Before we all go head-long into achieving the 80% uptake target we will have our Annual Network Conference. I’ve always found the time incredibly valuable despite there always being so many other things to do back at basecamp! A significant part of what makes it great is having so many members present, networking, sharing and learning together. If you haven’t already signed up can I please urge you to do so as soon as possible. Full details are in item 1 below and on the website.

With very best wishes
Giles Wright
Deputy Network Chair

The next edition will be circulated on 7th August 2019.

In this edition:

1. Network conference – book your place by 20th August
2. Workforce survey
3. MoHaWK
4. 2019/20 Staff Influenza Vaccination Programme
5. PHE/BiTC Domestic Abuse Toolkit for employers
6. CEOHG conference
7. Injustices for disabled people
8. John Lewis calls for tax free OH services
9. Workplace health: long-term sickness absence and capability to work (Update)
10. SOM Mental Health guide for line managers
11. Institute of Employment Studies reports
12. Occupational Lung Disease – Keeping up to date
13. NHS Employers update

1. Network conference – book your delegate places by 20th August

Registrations are coming in for our annual conference on 4th and 5th September at Chesford Grange, Warwickshire so make sure that you book your places before the holiday season.

Network members need to complete a booking form to let us know who will be taking up their free delegate place (which includes dinner and accommodation at the venue on 4th September and the conference on 5th September). Additional full places including overnight accommodation and dinner can be booked at a cost of £295, or day places for just £150.

Non-members can also attend the day of the conference only on 5th September. The cost for this is £295.

If you have any queries please contact admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk.

2. Workforce survey

Many Network members have been asked by their Trusts for current OH cost benchmarking data. Unfortunately, there is currently only the NHS benchmarking network, in which not all Trusts participate, and Model Hospital data. Neither of these are up-to-date and are not necessarily comparing like with like. We are therefore undertaking a simple survey across the Network.

The survey is intended to identify the current level of staffing and funding across NHS Occupational Health units within the NHS Health at Work Network. In order for you to be able to share information openly and confidentially, Wendy Coleman has kindly agreed to collate the responses on an anonymous basis. Once we get these, Barry Lane, Network Regional Board member (South West) will review and analyse the anonymised data, which will be formatted and returned to all who have responded (via Wendy to maintain confidentiality). No identifiable details will be available to any Network member. A summary of the finding will be presented at the 2019 Network Conference. Clearly, the more responses we receive the more meaningful and valuable it becomes.

Click here to access the survey. You will need your member login - if you have forgotten your password just enter your email address and click on login to reset your password.

3. MoHaWK - Round 15 is now open

Round 15 has now opened for data inputting. It will be open for the full month of July and into early August  which gives plenty of time to collate data from your system and input even if you are going on holiday!. If you need a reminder on the data requirements the briefing notes are attached.

Don’t forget that new back pain indicators for Round 15 have been added - Feedback has suggested that users wanted us to expand the back pain audit section. So three new indicators have been added to this section for Round 15. 

For those services working towards SEQOHS accreditation, the paper and electronic record keeping audits may prove very valuable to you. Two excel tools to aid data collection are available on the Knowledge Management area of the system as well as the manager and worker (face to face and telephone) feedback sections.

Any questions, please do contact me hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk.

4. 2019/20 Staff Influenza Vaccination Programme

This year, a NEW staff flu vaccination campaign is being delivered for NHS colleagues by PHE, in conjunction with NHS England and NHS Improvement. The new campaign will be published in July which will be provided to NHS and social care organisations to help them communicate the importance of staff vaccination.

We are therefore asking NHS Trust Flu Leads – those colleagues who are involved in the planning, communication and/or delivery of the health and social care workers flu vaccination programme for their organisation – to register here  to receive information about the campaign and to be able to order free materials.
Please also share this link with other Flu Lead colleagues in your organisation.

Also, the seasonal flu vaccine written instruction and factsheet has been published via the SPS (Specialist Pharmacy Service) website.

5. PHE/BiTC Domestic Abuse Toolkit for employers

An estimated 1.9 million adults aged 16 to 59 experienced domestic abuse in the last year. Two women each week and one man each month are killed in England and Wales by a current or former partner. Domestic abuse is a hugely destructive problem and we have a collective responsibility to tackle it. Employers have an important role to play in society’s response to domestic abuse.

Employers owe a duty of care to employees and have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and effective work environment. Preventing and tackling domestic abuse is an integral part of this and this toolkit, sponsored by The Insurance Charities offers guidance and support.

6. CEOHG conference

The Central England OH Group is offering a one day conference on 11th November. Speakers include Professor Diana Kloss, Hamish Moore, Dr Nerys Williams, Nicola Suckley, Dr Julia Denning, Professor Amanda Griffiths and Glyn Morris.

More information and booking is available here.  

7. Injustices for disabled people

Injustices faced by disabled people to be tackled head-on through a new package of measures ordered by the Prime Minister.

As part of her legacy as Prime Minister, Theresa May launched a package of cross departmental measures to “change the landscape for disabled people and to make sure there is always a level playing field for them”.  There are a range of proposals intended to “support disabled people in all phases of their life so that the pursuit of equality is a shared goal.”  These include higher accessibility standards for new housing, an overhaul of statutory sick pay, and greater workplace support to help ensure disabled people can fully participate in society.

Although the whole package of measures is important, one of the most direct concerns for OH departments will be “New employee rights to request workplace modifications on health grounds”. 

More information is available here.

8. John Lewis calls for tax free OH services

The John Lewis Partnership has issued a press release which calls on the Government to make all occupational health services tax exempt, to encourage employer investment in the physical and mental health of workers.

The call is contained in a new report which reveals the total cost of absenteeism and reduced productivity due to mental health and musculoskeletal conditions for UK businesses could be as much as £87.8 billion by 2025. This is a £14 billion increase from today's rate of £73.8 billion.

The  Working Well Report , which includes research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research and YouGov, shows that the estimated savings for UK businesses through reducing the cost of absenteeism and productivity by investing in early clinical interventions for musculoskeletal and mental health conditions could be £38.1 billion by 2025.

The report can be read here

9. Workplace health: long-term sickness absence and capability to work (Update)

A reminder that you still have a short time to add your comments to this draft guideline. Consultation will close at 5pm on Friday 5th July 2019 and the consultation page has all the information and documents you need to contribute.

The guideline is due for publication on 20th November 2019.

10. SOM Mental health guide for line managers

The Society of Occupational Medicine has published a guide for line managers on Mental Health and the Workplace. A copy is available here.

11. Institute of Employment Studies reports

IES has published the following reports:

Qualitative research to identify what good employment support for people with epilepsy should look like.

Challenging stigma and discrimination

12. Occupational Lung Disease – Keeping up to date

Date: Thursday 12 September
Venue: National Heart and Lung Institute, Dovehouse Street, London SW3 6LY
Registration fee: £150

Faculty members:  Professor Paul Cullinan, Dr Johanna Feary, Dr Carl Reynolds and Dr Joanna Szram

Invited speakers:

  • Dr Alanna Hare, Consultant Physician, Department of Sleep and Ventilation, Royal Brompton Hospital, London – ‘Sleep and fatigue: a contemporary approach to workforce management'
  • Dr John Hobson, ?Managing Director, Hobson Health, Stoke on Trent; Consultant Occupational Physician, WorkFit UK – ‘An occupational health surveillance programme for silica-exposed workers in the Potteries’
  • Dr Anita Roche, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control and PHE London TB Lead – ‘Response to TB in workplace settings'

More information is available on the course webpage or click here to book.

13. NHS Employers update

Interim NHS People Plan
Earlier this month, NHS England/Improvement published the Interim NHS People Plan. The plan sets out an agenda to tackle workforce challenges and focuses on actions for this year. Encouragingly, making the NHS the best place to work features prominently and as we know, the health and wellbeing of all staff is fundamental in driving this forward.  

To help you implement the plan we have various tools and resources including: 

RCN Congress 2019
We recently exhibited at the RCN Congress where we asked delegates to rank what would make the NHS the best place to work. Out of the 88 people that took part, the top five answers were:

  • You get full breaks/lunches
  • You have time to access healthy food during those breaks
  • Your voice is heard should you need to speak up/whistle blow
  • You are allowed to work flexibly
  • You have a supportive/understanding line manager.

Take a look at our free tools and resources to help you implement some of the top priorities for staff.

Let us know what the staff in your organisation see as a priority by emailing healthandwellbeing@nhsemployers.org.

Sign up to the July network conversation
The next network conversation will take place on 24 July from 2pm-3pm. Our conversations are a great place to share ideas and chat with health and wellbeing leads from across the health sector. Email us at healthandwellbeing@nhsemployers.org to register your place, please note places are limited. 

NHS Employers regional network events
Our NHS Employer health and wellbeing regional events will critically assess how your organisation’s current health and wellbeing offer meets the NHS Health and Wellbeing Framework and Thriving at Work Standards. Working with your peers you will develop solutions and strategies to shared challenges. Book your place and take a look at the full agenda.


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.

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 shritipattani@nhs.net
Andrew Gilbey, Network Manager andrew.gilbey25@gmail.com
Wendy Coleman, Network Administrator admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk

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