NHS Health at Work April bulletin

/Board members/Shriti_PattaniDear Colleagues

I would like to welcome Giles Wright who has been appointed as Deputy Chair of the Network.   Giles is Head of Service - Health and Wellbeing at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and has been instrumental in developing his service with a multi-disciplinary team approach. Giles also works in collaboration with NHSI and NICE.
‘NHS Staff and Learners Mental Wellbeing Commission’ report was published in February this year and was written to support the new NHS Long Term plan. The report recommends ready access to proactive occupational health services and supports one of the Networks work streams to have NHS Occupational Health Services recognised as a clinical rather than a back office function. Having this recognition could secure future funding for our services. Further details can be found in the bulletin.

Joint Health and Work unit have contacted the Network and I have spoken with them regarding their consultation on Occupational Health Policy which will be published later in the year. They are meeting with the Network  Board meeting in May and have been invited to speak at our conference  in September.

Shriti Pattani
Network Chair


The next edition will be circulated on 8th May 2019.

In this edition:

1. Network membership renewals
2. Network Board vacancy for West Midlands
3. Immunisations and Vaccinations Survey - Twitter Poll on Thursday 4th April
4. Independent survey of NHS staff
5. Certificate in Managing Mental Health at Work – member discount
6. MoHaWK
7. NICE guideline on Workplace health: long-term sickness absence and capability to work (update)
8. Health Education England report on the mental health and wellbeing of NHS staff and learners
9. BITC sleep and recovery toolkit
10. SOM awards
11. British Safety Council health and wellbeing review
12. Conferences and events
13. Lungs at Work courses
14. Flu fighter update
15. NHS Employers update


1. Network membership renewals

Don’t forget to take advantage of the early bird renewal rate of £685 (a saving of £200 on the full rate of £885). To claim your discount you just need to confirm your intention to renew before the end of April by completing and returning your renewal form. These have been issued to all current members but if you have not received yours then contact admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk.

If your OH team is not currently a member but you are considering joining then contact admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk for more information. Among other benefits you will have access to 2 rounds of MoHaWK in the coming year (normally £495) plus a place at our annual conference on 4/5th September (normally £295).

2. Network Board vacancy for West Midlands

The closing date for the Network Board vacancy for the West Midlands has been extended for a further 2 weeks to Wednesday 17th April. To apply please complete and return the application form to admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk. For informal enquiries please contact andrew.gilbey25@gmail.com.

3. Immunisations and Vaccinations Survey - Twitter Poll on Thursday 4th April

NHS Employers will be hosting a week focussing on streamlining in the NHS from 1-5 April 2019 and have dedicated Thursday 4th April to sharing learning from the national Doctors in Training Programme. There is a range of activities planned as part of this initiative, including a film, surveys, as well as updates on the scope of our work.
We are also running a Twitter poll targeted at the occupational health community to gather their views on the proposed (1) core list of immunisations and vaccinations and (2) standard naming convention for immunisations and vaccinations.

Please take a minute to complete the poll which will go live on the @NHSImprovement and @NHS_HealthEdEng Twitter accounts on Thursday 4th April.

4. Independent survey of NHS staff

Staff of all grades working in NHS trusts in England are encouraged to participate in an independent survey by the University of York. The findings will provide insights on issues such as pay gaps, the effectiveness of staff networks, the inclusion of minority groups and discrimination. Please share this within your organisation. To complete the survey, which takes about 10 minutes, click here. The deadline for responses is 12th April 2019.

5. 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.

6. MoHaWK

Round 14 – it's time to pull your reports
Round 14 has now closed. For those who have entered data, it is now time for you to pull the Round report so you can review your own organisations data in line with others that have submitted. Your service only benefits from undertaking MoHaWK when you pull the reports and review the areas of improvement. To do this, go to the report tab on the system when you are logged in and select ‘Round Report’. Any queries on getting the report – please do contact hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk.

7. Health Education England report on the mental health and wellbeing of NHS staff and learners

The government is setting out new plans to provide better mental health and wellbeing support to NHS staff in response to HEE’s report.  The new support could include:

  • post-incident support for NHS frontline staff, such as peer group support or a more formal psychological assessment
  • a dedicated mental health support service giving confidential advice and support 24 hours a day
  • fast-tracked mental health referrals for NHS employees if requested as a priority from either a GP or an occupational health clinician
  • improved rest spaces for on-call staff and trainees during and after their shifts, providing security, shower facilities and refreshments
  • an ‘NHS workforce wellbeing guardian’ in every NHS organisation, responsible for championing mental health and wellbeing support for staff

More information is available here.

8. NICE guideline on Workplace health: long-term sickness absence and capability to work (update)

The economic plan, review questions and search strategies for this NICE guideline have now been published on the project documents web page. This information is published for transparency, and to enable stakeholders to prepare for consultation on the draft guideline.

The consultation on the draft guideline and its supporting evidence is due to start on 24th May 2019. If you have any further queries about this guideline, please contact me at WorkplacehealthLTSUpdate@nice.org.uk.

9. BITC sleep and recovery toolkit

Business in the Community in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) have produced the first ever sleep and recovery toolkit.  The toolkit offers insight and advice on addressing the increasingly damaging sleep-loss epidemic affecting the nation.

10. SOM awards

Don’t forget that the closing date for entries for the SOM awards is 19th April 2019. 
The awards cover 4 areas:

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

Full details are available here. Please send your award submission(s) via the online form.

11. British Safety Council health and wellbeing review

The British Safety Council has issued a literature review and recommendations on improving employees health and wellbeing. ‘Not just free fruit: wellbeing at work’ seeks to define ‘wellbeing’ in workplace contexts, exploring the term’s varying connotations and applications. More information is available here.

12. Conferences and events

There are a number of upcoming conferences which may be of interest to you.

Disability Summit – Changing mindsets, embracing difference – 30th April 2019

With the implementation of the new NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES) this year, this summit will provide valuable insights to help organisations understand the WDES, the inequalities and challenges faced by people with disabilities, and share strategies for changing mindsets and embracing difference.

The summit will seek to galvanise action around issues affecting staff with disabilities, showcase good practice from both within and outside of the NHS and share practical solutions to take back to the workplace.

Why attend?

  • Access the latest information on the development of the NHS Workforce Disability Equality Standard, Disability Confident and Learning Disability Employment Programme.
  • Listen to the lived experiences of people from across a range of disabilities working within the health and social care sector.
  • Celebrate the stories of people with disabilities who have overcome barriers.
  • Access good practice in the field of employing people with disabilities.
  • Improve confidence in addressing the inequalities and challenges faced by people with disabilities.


  • The role of line managers in managing disability in the workplace.
  • Reasonable adjustments.
  • Visible and invisible disabilities
  • The power of networks.
  • Talent management and leadership development.

Should you have any queries regarding the event please email diversityandinclusion@nhsemployers.org.

Good Work for Good Health what role can you play? 1st May 2019

This event encompasses sessions relevant to all who are involved in work and return to work. It is relevant to professionals within employer and business networks, HR networks, medical team networks including GPs, health and safety/facilities networks, as well as all occupational health and vocational rehabilitation professionals.

Further information is available via the booking link.

‘Good Work for Good Health’ symposium – 1st May 2019

The VRA (Vocational Rehabilitation Association), Royal College of Occupational Therapists and the SOM present a symposium on 1st May 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.

Improving doctors mental health conference – 22nd May 2019

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.

SOM/RSM Spring Meeting: The Older Worker – 22nd May 2019

This meeting will develop skills in the management of the older worker, including co-morbidities, driving, mental health issues and potential increased health risks.

To introduce the day, Tabitha Jay, Director of the DWP/DHSC Work and Health Unit will give a UK Government perspective.  Other speakers include:

  • Professor Ewan Macdonald of Glasgow University
  • Patrick Thomson, of the Centre for Better Ageing
  • Dr Karla Greenberg, on mental health in older age
  • Dr Jeannette Lynch of DVLA on practical issues relating to driving

Highlights include two international experts:

  • Baroness Greengross, delivering the SOM annual Apothecaries Lecture 
  • Professor Hans Martin Hasselhorn of the University of Wuppertal, Germany

By the end of the day, delegates will have developed their knowledge of:

  • How occupational health practitioners can manage older people at work better, including improved clinical knowledge of issues such as frailty, cognitive function and co-morbidities
  • The current UK policy position towards older people at work 

For more information and to book your place, please click here

SOM/FOM conference, 17-19th June, Bristol

Early bird registration is now open until 1st May for the upcoming Occupational Health 2019 conference. The multi-disciplinary OH conference of the year is run jointly by SOM/FOM, held at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel.

The conference boasts a line-up of expert speakers, including Paul Farmer, Dr Ira Madan, Professor Neil Greenberg, Surgeon General Martin Bricknell, Professor Karen Walker-Bone, Dr Steve Boorman and Tabitha Jay.
Other sessions cover mental health, MSK issues, travel medicine, vocational rehabilitation, men’s health, workplace noise, fitness to drive, pilot health, military OH, the mental health of doctors, the brain health of professional footballers and much more. Full details of the programme, venue and recommended accommodation are available on the OH 2019 website.

Why attend?

  • Huge programme of clinical and practical sessions
  • Truly multidisciplinary conference for all OH professionals
  • World-class speakers
  • Networking and social events in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere

13. Lungs at Work courses

The following courses are available. Click on the links for more information or see the newsletter.

We have also produced 2 versions of a short animated video about ‘how to do spirometry’. This is aimed particularly at clients/employees who may have difficulty understanding the technique – maybe a language barrier, or other reasons. It is free to download and use.

There is a stills page at the end of one if you need a format to ask about date of birth.  We hope you find it useful!  Any comments or feedback, please get in touch.
https://youtu.be/a-G9Bm2Nh-M - without a hold screen
https://youtu.be/CXJeGJZyTQA - with a hold screen/stills page
Both videos can be also viewed on our Referrers page.

14. Flu fighter update

February 2019 uptake figures
The February flu figures have been released by Public Health England for September 2018 to February 2019 and show flu vaccination uptake has now reached 70.3 per cent - the highest yet! This is 1.6 per cent ahead of last season’s overall uptake and means over 34,000 more frontline healthcare workers have been vaccinated compared to this time last year.
See the NHS Employers website for a summary and to see how your trust has performed.

Flu fighter conference 

On Monday 25th March, many of you joined us for our annual flu fighter conference at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. The day saw discussion, networking and learning across a range of topics including behavioural change, motivation in flu vaccination decision making and benchmarks of good practice. The action-packed agenda showcased leading innovation and research, expert speakers and good practice. We hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did.

Find out more about the day and access the slides on the NHS Employers website.

Flu fighter awards 

We also celebrated our last flu fighter awards at the conference. Hosted by chief executive of NHS Employers, Daniel Mortimer, the evening celebrated the tremendous achievements of flu teams and organisations in promoting the flu vaccine to frontline health and social care staff.

Congratulations to all of you who were shortlisted. Take a look at our winners on the NHS Employers website.

The future of flu fighter

From 2019/20, the frontline healthcare worker flu vaccination campaign will form part of NHS England's/ Public Health England's (PHE) winter campaign and will no longer be led by NHS Employers. 

The flu fighter email and hotline telephone number is no longer be in use and our Twitter and Facebook groups will no longer be monitored from this date and will close in due course. Further information about 2019/20 will be available in due course from PHE’s Campaign Resource Centre.

Since NHS Employers began the flu fighter campaign in 2010, we have helped NHS trusts to double their flu vaccination uptake figures, increasing from 34.7 per cent in 2010/11 to 68.7 per cent in 2017/18. This year’s uptake (2018/19) is already at 68.6 per cent. We have also supported social care organisations in their efforts to combat the flu and get workers protected.

Take a look at a round up of highlights from the flu fighter campaign.

15. NHS Employers update

Changes to the health and wellbeing CQUIN

NHS England and NHS Improvement have published their CQUIN guidance for 2019/20 and there have been some changes to the payment framework for health and wellbeing. Read more on our website.

NHS Standard Contract new requirements

The 2019/20 contract requires commissioners and providers to set out how they will produce, implement and communicate a staff mental health and wellbeing plan in line with the Thriving At Work report recommendations.

We have collated free tools and resources against some of the report recommendations to help you implement the new requirements.

For more information on the NHS Standard Contract, see the NHS England website.

Health and wellbeing conference

On 13 March we held our second health and wellbeing conference. It was great to see so many of our health and wellbeing colleagues in the room and the enthusiasm for moving the health and wellbeing agenda forward. Take a look at our event web page for the speaker presentations and a twitter moment from the day. 

Sign up for our April network conversation

The next network conversation will take place on Wednesday 24th April 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 healthandwellbeing@nhsemployers.org and we will send you joining details. Please note places are limited.

Let’s talk menopause

New menopause guidance from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development provides managers with tools to offer effective support to women going through menopause at work. The guidance includes a practical guide for managers and what to include in a menopause policy. Take a look at our menopause and the workplace web page which includes more practical guidance for employers.

Stress awareness month

April is stress awareness month, take a look at our webpages for more information about stress in the workplace.

On your feet Britain

26th April marks 'On your feet Britain', a day which encourages workers across Britain to unite together and participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work. Find out how Luton and Dunstable University Hospital have implemented a new scheme to help staff keep fit and healthy at work.

Check out the national campaigns and awareness days coming up in April and see the resources we have to help you promote and support them.

Thriving at Work mental health standards

This guidance from Mind sets out what employers can do to better support all employees, including those with mental health problems to remain and thrive at work. Use this guide to make a long-term commitment for a better way of working or to formalise your approach.

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