Defining the value of accredited specialists in occupational medicine working in the National Health Service and exploring future opportunities for enhancing the provision of occupational health services in England.

A project commissioned by NHS England / NHS Improvement November 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to showcase the skills and attributes of an Accredited Specialist working in the NHS particularly those of strategic and specialist leadership. The 2 key recommendations from this work include: 

  • using the skills of the accredited specialist at a strategic level across the 42 newly formed integrated care systems (ICS) across England to provide consistent, high quality OH provision across the NHS
  • creating a National Chief Medical officer role sitting at the NHSE/I level to co-ordinate the work across the ICS’s and provide national leadership for the biggest employer in the UK as supported by the Growing OH programme run by NHSE/I

Dr Shriti Pattani, Specialist Clinical Advisor in OH NHSE/I

The full research report is available here


Research Plus

Research Plus was funded by a grant from the British Occupational Health Research Foundation in 2012, when it started to wind down it's activities. Unfortunately, this funding has now finished and the last edition was published in April/May 2017. Research Plus was written and researched by The At Work Partnership.  

At_Work_Partnership_logo            BOHRF_logo

Copies of Research Plus are still available, as shown below.

April/May 2017

  • Neck pain risk factors
  • Workplace health and wellbeing
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Work factors associated with poor mental health
  • Organisational change
  • Promoting return to work
  • More alcohol, more absence
  • Work-related risk factors for pregnancy outcomes


February/March 2017

  • PTSD therapy
  • Exercise for chronic fatigue syndrome 
  • Preventing burnout in mental health workers 
  • Medical students’ emotional wellbeing
  • Pre-placement carpal tunnel screening
  • Respiratory protective equipment training 
  • Interventions for common mental health problems
  • Night nurses’ increased mortality risk


December/January 2017

  • Pilot fatigue study
  • Wearable technology did not improve weight-loss regime
  • Benefits of peer support following occupational trauma
  • Impact of atopic dermatitis on skin absorption 
  • Bullied nurses react poorly to stress
  • Low-back pain sickness absence
  • Rotator cuff tendinopathy – treatment and return to work
  • Fire fighters’ cancer risk
  • Cleaners’ lung cancer risk


October/November 2016

  • Flu vaccine for healthcare workers
  • TB in healthcare workers
  • Violence de-escalation strategies in acute care 
  • Weight loss by diet reduces muscle strength 
  • Mindfulness training for managers
  • Alleviating shift workers’ sleep problems
  • Occupational hearing loss in railway workers
  • Impact of mid-life physical limitations on later life
  • Workaholics suffer sleep problems


August/September 2016

  • Colour vision testing
  • Can personalised online interventions achieve weight loss?
  • No breast cancer link to engine exhaust at work
  • Soldiers’ suicide risk 
  • Complex work associated with higher cognitive function in later life
  • Workplace mindfulness
  • Ischaemic heart disease – psychosocial risks
  • PTSD risk for terror attack rescue workers
  • Bullying associated with sickness absence
  • Very early interventions to reduce sick leave


June/July 2016

  • Protective clothing used against highly infectious diseases
  • Measures to reduce time spent sitting at work
  • Organisational change and wellbeing
  • Re-employment for people with mental health problems
  • Mind your back
  • Workplace interventions for depression and anxiety
  • Nightshift nurses at greater risk of heart disease
  • Psychosocial factors predict early retirement
  • Impact of multisite pain on work ability 
  • Participatory interventions to reduce absence


April/May 2016

  • Pre-employment examinations
  • Reducing sedentary behaviour
  • Carpal tunnel post-operative rehab 
  • Low-back pain prevention
  • HIV status has no impact on work ability
  • Social capital protects against sickness absence
  • Job insecurity predicts depressive symptoms
  • Does poor mental health predict absence?
  • Reproductive risks for hairdressers and cosmetologists
  • Mental health interventions at work


February/March 2016

  • Preventing upper limb disorders
  • Obesity linked to poor future work ability
  • Presenteeism linked to weight gain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Doctors in training at risk of depression
  • Anaesthetic gases 
  • Exercise benefits people with dust-related respiratory disease 
  • Hepatitis B treatment
  • Hepatitis C treatment


December/January 2016

  • COPD in construction workers
  • Workplace interventions reduce chronic-disease sickness absence
  • Improving return to work in cancer patients
  • Does excessive sitting increase risk of death? 
  • Intensive leisure-time physical activity improves work ability
  • Return to work for those with chronic disease
  • HCV prevalence in healthcare workers
  • Needlestick injuries and psychosocial factors
  • Work-focused CBT with IPS job support


October/November 2015

  • Combination approach to back pain
  • PTSD screening
  • Management style affects health at work 
  • Economic impact of corporate wellness programmes
  • Better pregnancy outcomes for employed women
  • Pilates for back pain
  • Workplace exercise – a randomised trial
  • Predicting return to work in upper-limb cases
  • Firefighters’ cancer risk 


August/September 2015

  • Under threat of dismissal
  • Work engagement 
  • Work-to-family conflict
  • Decline in CBT efficacy 
  • Problem-solving and CBT – impact on absence
  • RTW from depressive and anxiety disorders 
  • Fighting fit
  • Jury still out on height-adjustable workstations
  • Shiftwork review
  • Learning disabilities


June/July 2015

  • Occupational disease reporting
  • Cardiac patients returning to work
  • Stress raises risk of recurrent heart disease
  • Weight predicts absence
  • Indoor air pollutants and asthma risk
  • Onsite physical activity programmes
  • Addressing teachers’ stress
  • Musculoskeletal conditions – intermediate care
  • Psychosocial factors in work-related injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries


April/May 2015

  • Long hours raise risk of unhealthy level of drinking
  • Work-related sleep problems
  • Home versus workplace for musculoskeletal exercises
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • MetS not influenced by long working hours
  • Moderate activity pays dividends
  • Motivating exercise for chronic health conditions
  • Recurrent sickness absence due to depression
  • HAVS sufferers delay seeking treatment
  • Occupational and personal factors associated with doctors’ burnout


February/March 2015

  • Hepatitis C treatment review
  • HCV treatment without interferon
  • Arthritis and return to work 
  • Depression and return to work
  • Stress and the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Stress reduction in healthcare workers
  • Bricklayers’ lung cancer risk
  • Law enforcement increases police officers’ risk of sudden cardiac death
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome review
  • Asleep at the wheel


December/January 2015

  • Whole-body vibration 
  • Recovery expectations and return to work: systematic review
  • Recovery expectations and return to work: cohort study 
  • Ageing workers
  • Psychological work factors increase MSD risk in nursing care staff
  • Lifestyle counselling for overweight male workers
  • Workplace adjustments 
  • Psychotherapy for PTSD
  • Internet-based CBT reduces absence rates
  • Physical activity reduces depression risk in adults


October/November 2014 

  • Hand washing for outdoor work
  • Return to military work after cancer
  • Pushing and pulling
  • Respirable quartz 
  • Supportive leadership key to preventing long-term absence
  • Pre-placement nerve conduction studies for CTS
  • Improving sleep after nightwork
  • Pilots have double the risk of melanoma 
  • Antineoplastic drugs 
  • Visual impairment reduces chances of being in work
  • Returning to work after joint replacement surgery


August/September 2014

  • Can physical activity help cut absence?
  • Wellness programmes for smaller firms 
  • Smart CBT?
  • Epilepsy, diabetes and risk of injury 
  • Hepatitis C treatment options
  • Sleep problems may hinder return to work
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Chronic knee pain
  • Mitigating the ill-health effects of nightwork


June/July 2014

  • No stress link to irritable bowel disease
  • Double gloving works!
  • Safer needles need better quality research
  • Psychosocial job factors can raise blood pressure
  • Physical work can increase risk of preterm birth
  • No clear links for preterm birth risk with shiftwork or long hours
  • Work is generally good for mental heath 
  • Bullying risks long-term absence
  • Hearing protection ineffective in practice
  • Prehabilitation may improve post-operative outcomes


April/May 2014

  • Ageing pilots’ risk of incapacitation
  • Offshore shift work – effects on sleep and health
  • Work scheduling could reduce HGV crashes
  • Chromium VI cancer risk at work 
  • COPD causally linked to occupational exposure
  • Worksite exercise – no effect on psychosocial factors or job satisfaction
  • Germany loses €2.18 million in weight-related sick leave
  • Work can protect against cognitive impairment and dementia
  • Work tasks may risk hand osteoarthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome not linked to computer use


February/March 2014

  • Back injury link to daily patient transfers 
  • Modifiable risk factors for sciatica
  • Back pain absence variability
  • Feeling poorly predicts employment exit
  • Trainee nurses’ wet work risks hand eczema
  • Head injury increases PTSD risk in military personnel
  • Return to work after injury
  • Work-related upper limb disorders
  • Occupational asthmagens
  • No lung cancer link in baking industry


December/January 2014

  • Occupational lifting during pregnancy 
  • Sleep quality
  • Cost of occupational hand eczema
  • Less power to elbow evidence
  • Upper limb injuries
  • Problem solving reduces recurrent mental health absence 
  • Cost-effective intervention
  • Long working hours 
  • National return-to-work programme
  • Successful weight-loss programme has no impact on absence


October/ November 2013

  • Unemployment predicts future absence
  • Organisational justice improves attendance
  • Job insecurity – a risk factor for heart disease
  • Chronic fatigue recovery
  • Trichloroethylene link to NHL
  • Latex allergy solutions
  • No traction for low back pain cure
  • Work hardening 
  • Smoking cessation
  • Nursing tasks cause low back pain


August/September 2013

  • Early exit for obese workers
  • Psychosocial factors and weight gain
  • Fat fighters
  • Integrated RTW programmes 
  • Pedometers
  • Prognosis screening tool 
  • Psychosocial factors in the development of MSDs
  • Cataracts from exposure to ionising radiation 
  • Nightshift and breast cancer


June/July 2013

  • PTSD prevention
  • PTSD treatment
  • Asthma risk rises with cumulative exposure to latex 
  • Occupational exposure link to adult-onset asthma 
  • Sickness absence from respiratory symptoms
  • Melatonin levels in nightworkers
  • Greater flu risk at lower humidity
  • Unhealthy return
  • Patient lifting device impact assessment
  • Work participation with arthritis


April/May 2013

  • No evidence for EMF link to motor neuron or Alzheimer disease
  • GPs’ job demands predict stress
  • Return to work
  • Pregnancy outcomes and work activity
  • Nightwork link to ovarian cancer, but no dose effect
  • Depression leads to poor employment outcomes 
  • Workplace health promotion
  • Work stress and cancer
  • Probiotics to prevent common cold
  • No gain from OH obesity programme 
  • Telephone-based physio

February/March 2013

  • Hepatitis C treatment
  • Active interventions to reduce sickness absence
  • Return to work after angioplasty
  • Miscarriage systematic review
  • Lifting risks during pregnancy
  • No benefit from general health checks
  • Acupuncture for chronic pain
  • Bullying meta-analyses
  • Knee pain therapy 
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Can training improve psychosocial work factors?


December/January 2013

  • H1NI vaccine 90% effective in hospital staff
  • Back pain recovery – weak link to workplace support
  • Job strain and heart disease
  • Work–family conflict in healthcare workers
  • Promoting healthy eating at work
  • Working with cancer
  • Electronic aids to smoking cessation
  • Healthcare workers’ hand eczema
  • Nightwork cancer risk in male workers
  • Sub-chronic back pain – a precursor for work-related chronic pain


October/November 2012

  • Strenuous healthcare work predicts absence
  • Shiftwork link to healthcare worker absence
  • Physical work and pregnancy
  • Awkward postures and the risk of back pain
  • Low back pain risks
  • Neck pain
  • Upper limb disorder prevention
  • Shiftwork increases coronary risks
  • Cost-effectiveness of worksite mental health programmes
  • Patient handling


August/September 2012

  • Occupational asthma
  • Occupational asthma host factors
  • Medical screening for work-related asthma
  • Non-specific neck pain
  • Organisational justice
  • Depression risk factors
  • Healthcare workers’ dermatitis remains a problem
  • Control over working time
  • Can hernia be work related?
  • Vitality at work


June/July 2012

  • RTW interventions
  • In pain but in work
  • Safer needles
  • Hepatitis C prevalence
  • Organisational change
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Does work improve health?
  • Mental health absence
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Self-reported work-related illness
  • Melatonin levels and nightwork
  • Healthcare workers’ eczema


April/May 2012

  • Measuring social support in RTW
  • Mental health functional impairment in nurses
  • Functional capacity testing
  • Workplace wellness guidelines
  • Presenteeism 
  • Nightshift work and breast cancer
  • Work stress not linked to diabetes risk
  • Double gloving
  • The cost of worksite wellness


February/March 2012

  • Blunt suture needles
  • Aspirin: no impact on cancer mortality
  • Age and surgical performance
  • Unhealthy behaviour in hospital workers
  • Common mental health conditions
  • Weight-loss programmes
  • Early intervention
  • OSH training
  • Flu vaccine uptake
  • Infectious disease job matrix


December 2011/January 2012

  • Acute low back pain
  • Partial return to work
  • Does pain predict absence in healthcare workers?
  • Doctors’ self medication
  • Asbestos – lung impairment in absence of disease
  • Dermatitis in healthcare workers
  • Mouldy workplaces
  • Yoga v stretching for back pain
  • Does pain predict absence in general workers?
  • Mental health and return to work


October/November 2011

  • Burnout in junior doctors
  • Nurses’ breast cancer risk
  • Stress link to hospital workers’ skin disorders
  • Nurses’ work-related sickness absence
  • Predicting return to work
  • Manual handling
  • Reducing exposure through behavioural change
  • Workplace health promotion
  • Remote and mobile workers


August/September 2011

  • Occupational asthma interventions
  • Differentiating occupational asthma
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Shift work and body weight
  • Work stress and CVD
  • No link to low back pain
  • e-CBT for chronic back pain
  • Work-focused back pain counselling
  • Bright light can help shift workers
  • Anxiety disorders


June/July 2011

  • Junior doctors’ working hours
  • Cognitive behavioural approach to sickness absence
  • Functional capacity testing
  • Workplace interventions to tackle depression
  • Workers’ health monitoring
  • Pregnancy, work and stress
  • Ergonomic interventions need theoretical basis
  • Treating chronic HCV infection
  • Longer hours associate with poor diabetes management
  • Nursing errors – predictive factors


April/May 2011

  • Pre-employment TB testing
  • Shiftwork, nightwork and safety
  • Cancer recovery and return to work
  • Bullying, work and mental health
  • Workplace bullying and sleep
  • Adult anxiety disorder guidelines
  • Empowerment training
  • Participatory RTW plan
  • Predictive power of previous absence
  • Better relationships promote RTW


February/March 2011

  • Upper-limb disorders – evidence review
  • Return to work after cancer
  • Nursing errors
  • Does past absence predict future absence?
  • Economic benefits of integrated care
  • Pre-employment medicals
  • Supervisor training in mental health at work
  • Management stress training RCT
  • Work–family conflict
  • Memory training for older workers?
  • Long-term neurological conditions
  • Blood lead and pregnancy