March bulletin

/Board members/DMJDear Colleagues

As many of you will be aware this will be my last introduction to the bulletin as Deputy Chair of the Network having decided not to continue for a further year. It will be sad to step down having previously been a member of NHS plus and a Board Member for the East of England for a number of years since its inception. I returned three years ago when I came back to the occupational health fold at Barts Health having done my bit as a general manager in acute hospital care.
I am pleased to see that the Network has developed over the years to such a point that we are now routinely involved in consultations with government departments and, as you will see within the bulletin, with public health. Finally, there is a feeling in the highest levels in government that more needs to be done to support the well-being of NHS staff. What will be interesting for all of us will be the pressure to change the traditional model of delivery to include a more treatment focused service. Certainly in Dorset we are moving to introduce a well-being hub which sits separately to occupational health to deliver a treatment service which includes MSK and mental health support specifically for staff.
As a Board, over the years, we have constantly been trying to push the message about proving our worth and our value to organisations.  The announcement of awards from the SOM featured in the bulletin provides an excellent opportunity for our NHS teams to provide qualitative examples of good practice and I would ask you all to consider putting forward your teams or team members to showcase some of the really good work which is going on out there.
In parting can I wish each and every one of you the very best for the future. Whilst pressures continue to mount on the workforce that we serve within the NHS our role becomes ever more important to support those people who are delivering care to patients. Please look after yourselves and I look forward to seeing many of you at our conference in September.

David Maslen-Jones
Network Deputy Chair

The next edition will be circulated on 3rd April 2019.

In this edition:

1. NHS Health at Work Network membership renewals
2. Network Board vacancy for West Midlands representative
3. Certificate in Managing Mental Health at Work – member discount
4. MoHaWK – Round 14
5. Improving doctors mental health conference – 22nd May
6. Guidance on managing and promoting health at work
7. Commissioning an OH Service
8. ACAS age discrimination guidance
9. SOM awards
10. ‘Good Work for Good Health’ symposium
11. Mental health first aid in the workplace (MENTOR): A feasibility study – this has helped inform new resources on benchmarking and workplace considerations
12. Flu fighter update
13. NHS Employers update
14. Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard


1. NHS Health at Work Network membership renewals

Invitations have now been sent out to all current Network members to renew their membership for 2019/20. If you have not received yours or have any queries please contact

Full Network membership is available to any OH team owned and operated by a statutory NHS organisation in England, which is either fully SEQOHS accredited, or registered and working towards SEQOHS accreditation. The cost is £885 this year, with an early bird offer of £685 if confirmed by the end of April.

Associate membership is also available to the following categories:

  • 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.
  • A University owned Occupational Health provider, which is fully SEQOHS accredited including the NHS standards and supports health care students in an NHS setting.
  • An NHS owned and operated provider in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, which is either fully SEQOHS accredited, or registered and working towards SEQOHS accreditation.
  • A public sector, national NHS-related organisation (e.g. Public Health England), which is either fully SEQOHS accredited, or registered and working towards SEQOHS, at the discretion of the Board. 

Both full and associate members receive a range of benefits including:

  • A free place for the annual network conference.  The 2018 conference had a 100% overall satisfaction rate – the 2019 conference will take place on 4/5th September at Chesford Grange.
  • Access to MoHaWK, the clinical benchmarking tool.  Ownership of MoHaWK transferred to the FOM during 2018 but Network members continue to have access as a member benefit. 
  • 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.
  • ‘Ask a question’ – an opportunity to put a question to Network members, which has proved popular and useful. 
  • Discounted access to skills training and other conferences.

In addition the Network Board represents the views and interests of NHS OH teams with key organisations, such as NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England, SEQOHS, NHS Employers, FOM, SOM, the Faculty of OH Nursing, the Council for Work and Health, the National School of OH and the Government’s Joint Unit on Health and Work.

Over the year we have worked closely with PHE, seeking clarification on TB screening of NHS workers from high incidence TB countries and the use of Quadrivalent vaccine in HCWs over the age of 65 years, and issuing guidance to members, as well as circulating information on Hep B 5 year boosters and BCG alerts. We have also agreed that the Network will have input on future revisions of the Green Book where they are relevant to occupational health.

The Network, FOM and SOM have developed a good working relationship, joining together to issue joint statements on national strategy and responding to consultations.

Most recently, we have been in discussion with PHP (Practitioner Health Programme) to promote the involvement of OH teams when doctors return to work after a period of ill health, and clinical OH leads will be included in multi-disciplinary team meetings when the programme is rolled out nationally.

2. Network Board vacancy for West Midlands representative

From 1st April 2019 we have a vacancy for a Board member to represent the West Midlands area. This will replace Dr Tamsin Radford, who has been a member of the Board for the last 6 years and has also represented the Network on the SEQOHS steering group. We would like to thank Tamsin for her excellent contribution to the Network.

If you would be interested in representing the West Midlands as a member of the Board, you can find further information about the process and an application form here. You would be expected to attend 3 Board meetings per annum, one via teleconference and two face to face, as well as keeping in touch with OH teams in your area to identify any issues and to represent their views. If you would like any further information you can contact or for an informal discussion.  The closing date is 3rd April.

3. Certificate in Managing Mental Health at Work – member discount

4-6 June 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 new Certificate in Managing Mental Health at Work. This practical three-day qualification from The At Work Partnership is designed to give OH professionals the in-depth knowledge, strategies, skills and techniques to successfully manage mental health at work.

Book and pay by 15th April 2019 to qualify for our early bird rates.  More information is available here.

4. MoHaWK

Round 14 – last call for data entry and don’t forget to pull your report

If there are still some services who need to enter data for Round 14 – then the site is still open and you can do this until 15th March.

For those services who have entered their data then please do start to pull your reports. Go to the report tab on the system and select ‘Round Report’. Any queries on getting the report – please do contact

5. Improving doctors mental health conference – 22nd May

Chaired by Dr Clare Gerada, Medical Director, NHS Practitioner Health Programme, and with an opening address from Dr Maurice Conlon, NHS England, this conference focuses on improving doctors mental health and supporting doctors with mental health problems. Through national updates, learning from lived experience and practical case studies from organisations that are effectively providing mental health support and wellbeing the conference will provide a practical guide to ensure you are improving the mental health of doctors, effectively supporting doctors with mental health issues, and bringing the joy back into work.

More information and online booking is available here.

6. Guidance on managing and promoting health at work

Public Health England has published guidance on healthy workplaces and what they should provide for workers. It also includes useful infographics and links to toolkits on relevant subjects. A copy is available here.

7. Commissioning an OH service

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) has launched new advice for companies wishing to commission an OH service. A copy is available here.

8. ACAS age discrimination guidance

ACAS has issued guidance to help employers to avoid age discrimination in the workplace, including advice on handling discrimination should it arise. A copy is available here.

9. SOM awards

The Society of Occupational Medicine has developed a new awards scheme demonstrating the value of occupational health to organisations and the wider community. The programme welcomes entries from all occupational health practitioners and teams. There is a choice of four awards to enter:

  • Outstanding Occupational Health Initiative
  • Outstanding Occupational Health Practitioner
  • Outstanding Contribution by an Employer to Workplace Health and Wellbeing 
  • Outstanding Occupational Health Team

The awards will be presented at the SOM / FOM Conference in Bristol in June 2019 at the SOM AGM.

The closing date for entries is 19th April 2019. Full details are available here. Please send your award submission(s) via the online form.

10. ‘Good Work for Good Health’ symposium

The VRA (Vocational Rehabilitation Association), Royal College of Occupational Therapists and the SOM present a symposium on 1st May 2019 in Birmingham on ‘Good Work for Good Health – what role can you play?’ More information is available on their flyer, including a link for booking places.

11. Mental health first aid in the workplace (MENTOR): A feasibility study

IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) has published the results of this research, which has helped inform new resources on benchmarking and workplace considerations. A copy is available here.

12. Flu fighter update

End of season survey

With the flu season now over, our annual end of season survey is now open and we would appreciate if you could complete it to tell us how we did this year.

The end of season survey has been created with the hope of gathering your feedback about how the flu fighter team have performed this year and how you have found our support and engagement. We want you to be honest and let us know if there is anything we can do to improve our services and outreach to you.

For those who complete the survey, there is the chance to be entered in our prize draw with flu goodies up for grabs!

Annual flu fighter conference – register now! 
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to register your place at our fourth annual flu fighter conference, taking place on Monday 25th March 2019 at The Midland Hotel, Manchester. The action-packed day is a great opportunity for flu leads to connect, learn from good practice and hear from experts on a range of topics.

January 2019 uptake figures
Public Health England have released the flu vaccination uptake figures for September 2018 to January 2019 showing a further 20,500 healthcare workers have been vaccinated compared to this time last year. Uptake is now at 68.6 per cent, just 0.1 per cent behind last season’s overall uptake, which suggests an optimistic outlook for the 2018/19 end of season uptake figures.
These figures are testament to your hard work so well done to you all. Take a look at our summary on the NHS Employers website to see how your trust has performed.
Flu fighter awards 2019 shortlist

We are pleased to announce the shortlisted nominees for the 2019 flu fighter awards! Thank you to all those who submitted entries, the standard of entries was exceptional and we are sorry more of you couldn’t be shortlisted.

13. NHS Employers update

Join us for a conversation

The next network conversation will take place on Wednesday 27 March 2019 10-11am. Our conversations are a great place to share ideas and chat with health and wellbeing leads from across the health sector. Email us at and we will send you joining details. Please note places are limited.

Regional events

We are planning our regional events for 2019. If you have facilities to host a regional event for up to 30/40 people please can you email and we will be in touch.

The 2019 working families best practice awards

The working families’ awards recognise employers who understand work-life balance is fundamental to a more engaged and productive workforce. NHS Employers are sponsoring the best flexible working initiative award. Check out the other categories and enter your organisation. The closing date for completed entries is 5pm on Monday 25 March 2019.

Nutrition and hydration week 11 - 17 March 2019

Read this blog from West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, see how their hydration project helps to keep staff well at work.  

World sleep day 15 March 2019

Read Dr Michael Farquhar’s blog on the importance of effective sleep breaks for shift workers.

Retention webinar: Key conversations with staff

Join this webinar on 7th March to discuss how key conversation with staff can help to improve retention. 

Training routes into the NHS - new resource

This new infographic demonstrates the different training options that are available to support traditional NHS training and recruitment routes. 

System working - a guide to support workforce sharing

This new guide offers support and legal guidance on staff mobility and developing workforce sharing agreements.

NHS Health Educations England staff and learners mental wellbeing report recommendations

Our free tools and resources will help you to implement some of the recommendations in the report.

Latest NHS staff sickness absence data for October 2018

Take a look at the NHS staff sickness absence data for October 2018.

Share your views on apprenticeships and the levy

Share your views through this short survey on apprenticeships and the levy, including expiry of levy funds and the apprenticeship levy transfer.

Changes to enhanced shared parental leave and child bereavement leave

Read an update from the NHS Staff Council on the enhancement to shared parental leave, and the introduction of child bereavement leave under the 2018 NHS terms.

14. Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard

The Institute for Apprenticeships has now published the approved Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard (Level 4) alongside the final Assessment Plan as ready for delivery.

The approval of the Assessment Plan and the Standard is the culmination of two year’s hard work to create a Standard that works for everyone.  With the fact that the Standard receives a funding band of £6,000 (Band 9) this makes it genuinely deliverable and the IEP (Institute of Employability Professionals) are dedicated to continue our work, through the ETEG, with Employers, employees, strategic partners and the wider Employability profession as a whole to deliver the benefits of this Apprenticeship.  

Please find attached here our Employer Briefing Pack which contains everything you need to know about the Standard; the approved Standard and the End Point Assessment Plan together with communications messages, relevant strategic and social context and an overview of the implications for the Employability Sector.
If you would like any further information, please contact Heather Ette, Marketing and Communications Manager, IEP, at

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