The five key priorities in our Business Plan are:

1.      Promotion and influence on behalf of NHS occupational health services

1.1    We believe NHS OH services can make a real difference to patient care through influencing the culture of the NHS and our expertise in understanding the relationship between health and work. We particularly want to ‘mainstream’ NHS occupational health within the fabric of NHS clinical services, and support the NHS Five Year Forward View.

1.2    We will promote the NHS OH brand and seek to influence Government directly and through active membership of the Council for Work and Health. We will continue to strengthen our close working relationships via formal representation on Boards/Steering Groups, or through more informal working arrangements with a range of key stakeholders including:

DH/DWP Joint Work and Health Unit

Council for Work and Health (Board representation)

Faculty of Occupational Medicine

Faculty of Occupational Health Nursing (Board representation)

Society of Occupational Medicine

Association of NHS Occupational Health Physicians (ANHOPS)

National School for Occupational Health

NHS Employers (Steering Group Representation)

Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health Services (SEQOHS) (Steering Group Representation)

Public Health England

NHS England

NHS Improvement

Health Education England


National, regional and local streamlining projects/groups

1.3    We will respond on behalf of our members to national consultation exercises including, for example, NICE and NHS Employers.

1.4    We will also engage with local members, directly through a monthly email bulletin, via their Board representatives and through direct contact from the Chair. 

2.      Promoting best clinical and business practice

2.1    The Network will continue to encourage all members to secure full SEQOHS accreditation and/or re-accreditation over the period of this Plan, continuing the excellent progress made as the NHS continues to lead the way for SEQOHS accreditation across all sectors.  In addition, the Network will, as a member of the SEQOHS Steering Group, help to monitor and develop the accreditation system in support of their newly planned work-streams to review aspects of the SEQOHS scheme.

2.2    We will offer access to the Faculty of Occupational Medicine’s MOHAWK clinical benchmarking tool to all members at a significantly discounted rate as part of the overall membership package. The Network will have user representation on the MoHaWK steering group.

3.      Exchange Information, Expertise and Best Practice

3.1    We will offer an annual network conference to recognise progress and achievement and share best practice.  The theme of the conference will be decided by the Board.

3.2    Via the website, monthly e-bulletin and other mechanisms, we will continue to share evidence based guidelines and research, and examples of best practice so that we can strive to continuously improve occupational health practice.  Our popular ‘Ask-A-Question’ facility for members will continue to be promoted to facilitate the sharing of information and good practice.

3.3    We will work with the DH/DWP Joint Unit in supporting their implementation of projects arising from the Government’s response to the Green Paper on ‘Work, Health and Disability’.  Specifically we will co-ordinate any pilots to test out the ‘mainstreaming’ of NHS OH to NHS patients as part of the care pathway.

4.      Generating commercial business leads

We will update and enhance the website ‘find a provider’ postcode search map, funded by a grant from our colleagues at Syngentis, the not for profit community interest company.  The Network website generates approximately 12,000 unique visits per calendar month, and multiple business enquiries for listed members.

5.      Collaboration with key stakeholders in the recruitment, training and retention of occupational health professionals

5.1    We will work with, and support, other key stakeholders to lobby and address the sector-wide concern around the demographic challenges of occupational health specialists. In particular our focus will be on the recruitment and retention of NHS occupational health physicians and specialist nurses.

5.2    The critical OH workforce sustainability issues affect all sectors, and not just the NHS.  As such, the response requires a co-ordinated effort from all the key players, notably the Council for Work and Health, the FOM, the FOHN, and the National School (HEE).  The Network will collaborate with the key stakeholders in the developing strategy and actions, including:

  • actively support and contribute to the next stage of the Council for Work & Health’s Workforce Project
  • lobby the DWP/DH Joint Unit to undertake a workforce survey so that we can better understand existing skills gaps and future OH workforce projections
  • work with the training providers to provide good access to clinical skills training, updates and other CPD events as a developing part of the membership benefits package 
  • support the National School in their efforts to convince HEE to increase the number of funded OH training places

See the full 2018-2021 business plan here.