NHS Growing Occupational Health Programme

Growing our Occupational Health and Wellbeing Leaders: Apply now to our fully funded development programmes

NHS England and Improvement are committed to developing the leadership skills of our NHS employed Occupational Health (OH) and Wellbeing people, as part of our Growing OH initiative.

Our prospectus highlights the opportunities available, and 2022 enrolment is now open for the fully-funded Rosalind Franklin programme for established OH and wellbeing leaders, and the Mary Seacole programme for new and emerging OH leaders.

The Franklin programme is open to an expanded OH and wellbeing cohort, so we are especially keen to hear from established leaders in the occupational health and wellbeing community who spend the majority of their time in an occupational health and wellbeing role (at least 3 days a week). If you are keen to ‘rise to the challenge’ of leading the opportunities within the Growing OH initiative, further details, programme dates and the application process for Franklin is detailed in the prospectus.


Growing OH Programme - Key messages:

  • We are launching the Growing Occupational Health programme to grow NHS delivered OH services and support our NHS OH people as strategic, integrated, and proactive organisational partners
  • In collaboration with Dr Steve Boorman, Dr Shriti Pattani and key strategic partners including the NHS Health at Work NetworkFOMSOMNHS Employers and SPF members, NHS England and NHS Improvement have begun to develop the vision for the Growing OH programme
  • To help make this vision a reality, we would like to invite a variety of stakeholders to get involved in the co-design and collaboration via our engagement events and to have your say via our online survey

Hear from Dr Shriti Pattani inviting you to participate in the Growing OH engagement events and give your feedback via the survey:

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Hear from Dr Steve Boorman, calling all OH professionals and system leaders to realise the potential of OH as strategic and integrated partners.


Introducing ‘Growing OH’

The vision for this exciting new programme of work is to support the health and wellbeing of our NHS people by growing NHS delivered OH services and our NHS OH people as strategic, integrated and proactive organisational partners. The programme is underpinned by various service improvement drivers, and the principles of collaboration and co-design by working with our OH community to grow the service, and our OH people together. 

Under the leadership of Dr Steve Boorman and with support from the NHS Health at Work Network, Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Society of Occupational Medicine, Council for Work and Health, NHS Health and Wellbeing Expert Advisory Board, and Social Partnership Forum members, NHS England and Improvement have co-designed a strategic programme of work to support the vision. 

We recognise that our OH people have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, and we believe that now is the time to increase support our NHS OH services to become more strategic, integrated, and proactive partners. 

The diagram in the briefing document represents the vision and key drivers as a starting point for our programme. Our intention is to work with our OH stakeholders to grow the vision in a collaborative way and evolve the programme over time.

Overview of Growing OH vision

Our starting point for Growing OH is that we want to support the health and wellbeing of our NHS people, by growing NHS delivered OH services and our NHS OH people to reach their full potential as strategic, integrated and proactive organisational partners. The programme is underpinned by various service improvement drivers, and the principles of collaboration and co-design by working with our OH community to grow the service, and our OH people together. Our starting point for these drivers for improvement, that we would like your help in shaping are:

  • Empowering OH to be a trusted, strategic, and integrated organisational partner
  • Enabling system-wide service innovation and improvement in OH
  • Equality of access to services that meet the needs of all our diverse NHS people
  • Increasing focus on proactive and preventative care
  • Designing and embracing future models of multi-disciplinary service delivery
  • Enhancing service standards, quality, measurement, and consistency
  • Effective use of technology to support service delivery 
  • Empowered OH leadership, service improvement and innovation
  • Increased OH workforce capacity and capability
  • Empowering OH to strategically and operationally support recovery


Launching the programme and working together to evolve the programme

The Growing OH programme appreciates that the capacity of OH services are stretched due to vital efforts supporting the pandemic, but also recognises the finite window that we have to support positive change. With this in mind, we aim to start small, with the intention of learning and growing together over time.  

Programme activity for 2021-22 is designed to begin our journey of growing our OH people and OH services, with a large amount of engagement, co-design and collaborative work to evaluate and build on best practice. This work will inform future ‘blueprints’ for potential service delivery models, and subsequently the development of a longer-term programme of work and investment plan. 

The diagram in the briefing document illustrates our three phases of engagement and co-design for this financial year, 2021-22.

Help us shape the vision for Growing OH by sharing your views

NHS England and Improvement have been working with Dr Steve Boorman and national OH bodies such as NHS Health at Work, Faculty of Occupational Medicine and Society of Occupational Medicine, and Social Partnership Forum members to begin developing a vision for growing our OH services and people.

We want to grow this vision and it’s underpinning drivers together with our stakeholders. We are starting with a series of engagement events open to our OH colleagues, senior leaders, wider stakeholders and service users (i.e. our employees and managers) to share feedback on the vision and drivers to further shape our collaborative programme of work together.

We want to start this exciting programme of work by building energy and momentum with our NHS OH community and wider stakeholders in the true spirit of co-design. Whilst the wider programme offers are developed, here’s what is available for you to get involved with: 

1.     Have your say at initial engagement events

We want to start with a series of engagement events open to our OH stakeholders to share your feedback on the vision and drivers to further shape our collaborative programme of work. We are running a series of events specifically for:

  • NHS occupational health community
  • Senior leaders/board level leaders
  • Service users – managers and staff members

Find out more and book here.

2.     Share your views on our online survey: In addition to our engagement events we have developed a short survey for you to share your ideas and help shape the future of how occupational health services are received and delivered.

Find out more and fill out the survey here.

3. We have also developed a discussion document with input from OH colleagues and experts, as a starting point in informing the case for future development and investment. The discussion document will be used at the engagement events with our stakeholders and the OH community to explore and develop the Growing OH programme.

What’s next?

We will integrate feedback from our engagement events and progress the wider programme ambitions and deliverables by collaboratively working with you as our OH community to deliver upon the vision for the programme. We will also be releasing development offers to grow our OH people, including access to a bespoke OH leadership development programme.

We will keep our website updated with more information as the programme progresses.

If you’d like to share a key piece of work, best practice, or learning that others can benefit from, please share this with our team at: england.growingOH@nhs.net