Welcome to our September 2020 Bulletin

/Board members/Giles_Wright

Dear Colleagues

I hope you’ve had a chance for a well-deserved break, albeit perhaps with adjusted travel plans!  Another full bulletin this month reflecting how much there is happening in the world of staff health and wellbeing.  Picking out a couple of key items I’d like to draw your attention to the NHS People Plan recently published.  We have also linked to the summary action plan produced by NHS Employers which may be helpful.  It is promising to see staff health feature so prominently in the national plan.  The Network Board are working closely with colleagues in NHS Improvement and England (NHSI/E) on both the response to Covid-19 and its impact on staff and also on the wider aspects of occupational health provision and health and wellbeing going forwards.

Dr. Shriti Pattani’s term as Network Chair finishes in March 2021.  Shriti has been instrumental in developing relationships with national bodies, shaping policy and championing the values and voice of the Network’s members and the speciality.  Shriti has worked tirelessly building on the great work of Dr. Anne De Bono before her.  We now begin the recruitment process to seek Shriti’s successor.  Please see the item below and do get in touch with Shriti, Andrew Gilbey or myself if you’d like to discuss informally.  It’s an exciting time to lead the Network with lots of potential to see the speciality progress.

I hope that as we head towards flu vaccination season we don’t see Covid-19 impacting on our Services in the way it did earlier in the year.  Stay safe and from all on the Network Board we wish you and your team the very best.

Giles Wright

Deputy Chair


In this edition:

1.  NHS People Plan 

2.  NHS Network Chair Vacancy

3.  Influenza Immunisation: Winter 2020/21

4.  RCN Vaccine Guidance

5.  MoHaWK

6.  NICE Chronic Pain Guidelines: Consultation

7.  NHS Health & Wellbeing Support Resources

8.  PHE Better Health Campaign

9.  Article: Dealing with Covid-19

10. HSE Home Working Guidance

The next edition will be circulated week commencing 28 September 2020.


1.    We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/21 - action for us all  

NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched the NHS People Plan which is available to view here

This follows on from the Interim People Plan from June 2019 and sets out the actions that organisations should focus on for 2020/21, building on the progress made and learning from COVID-19.   

The People Plan focuses on four key areas for employers:
1.    Looking after our people
2.    Belonging in the NHS
3.    New ways of delivering care
4.    Growing for the future

It is encouraging to read that the plan has a specific commitment around supporting the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and builds upon the fantastic work already being done in organisations. 

NHS Employers have provided a good summary of the Plan and associated resources here.

2.    NHS Health at Work Network Chair Vacancy

We are now seeking expressions of interest to succeed Dr. Shriti Pattani in the role of Network Chair.  Interested candidates may contact Shriti for an informal discussion (chair@nhshealthatwork.co.uk) and for more information including a role description and person specification.  

Applications should be in the form of a brief CV and supporting statement of no more than 500 words, and submitted to admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk.  The deadline for applications is Friday 25 September.  Interviews will be held October and the successful applicant will shadow Shriti as Chair Elect until the end of her term next March.

 3.    Influenza Immunisation: Winter 2020/21Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare has worked with Public Health England to update the flu immunisation e-learning programme for the 2020/21 season. The programme is available on the e-LfH Hub, ESR and via AICC links. Find out more and how to access the programme here. 

4.    RCN Vaccine Guidance

The RCN has released new guidance for members involved in the delivery of essential vaccination services.

With this year’s flu season preparation made more complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the guidance addresses questions from RCN members about developing, planning and delivering large-scale vaccination programmes. It offers practical tips for all nursing staff involved in immunisation services in these new and challenging circumstances.

The guidance contains crucial recommendations and clinical considerations, including:

  • Recording, sharing and regularly reviewing risk assessments.
  • Making services accessible to everyone, with plenty of flexibility, so services can be made available in familiar settings to those who need them.

5.    MoHaWK

Round 17 opened for data input on Wednesday 1st July.  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 there will be no ‘deadline’ to submit your data.  We will leave the Round open until December (just prior to Round 18 commencing) allowing you time to update as you are able.  We have also 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 gradually review the sections you want to complete and 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 crazy 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

6.    NICE Draft guideline on Chronic pain: assessment and management

This draft guideline and its supporting evidence are now out for consultation.  You may wish to submit comments on the draft guideline. The consultation page has all the information and documents you need to comment.

The consultation will close at 5pm on Monday 14 September 2020

The guideline is expected to be published on Wednesday 20 January 2021. If your organisation submits comments and a signed confidentiality form, 2 weeks before publication you will be sent the final guideline, along with comments from stakeholders, so you can let NICE know about any substantive errors. 

If you have any queries about this consultation, please contact ChronicPain@nice.nhs.uk

7.    National Health and Wellbeing Support Offer – PDF summary

NHS England and NHS Improvement has developed an interactive PDF summary of the national health and wellbeing support available to NHS staff during this time. Download the PDF to use in your NHS organisations to promote the national support to your staff. 

8.    PHE Better Health Campaign

Public Health England have launched Better Health, the ground-breaking new adult health campaign that provides an opportunity for the nation to reset and introduce healthy changes.  For many, the past few months have been a wake-up call, with people realising how precious their health is and recognising that it is time to get back on track.

To support people to live healthier lives, Public Health England’s Better Health campaign provides a variety of tools and apps to help you make healthier food choices, become more active and prevent future weight gain.  One of these tools is the NHS 12-week weight loss plan, providing engaging content that can be personalised and tailored to the goals and needs of the individual.

 9.    An insight from an NHS OHP during Covid-19

Read Shriti’s article reflecting on an OHP’s experience of dealing with Covid-19 in an NHS organisation.

10. HSE Home Working Guidance

The Health and Safety Executive website has some useful resources to refer to for safe and healthy home-working with display screen equipment.

If you have staff working at home, you must still manage the risks to their health from display screen equipment (DSE).  The website has specific DSE advice for those employees who are:

Temporary home working

Long-term home working

Employers have the same health and safety responsibilities for employees working from home as for any other employees.  More advice is available here


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