Welcome to our April 2022 Bulletin

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Dear Colleagues

It’s time to sign up to the Network for another financial year. If your Service has not yet renewed, please do get in touch so that you can take advantage of the ‘early bird’ offer and receive the fantastic membership benefits. Please speak with your Head of Service to make sure your department has signed up! 

Like me, I’m sure you’ve had a busy month.  I’ve been working with NHS England and Improvement on developing a number of avenues of work.  We have reinstated the work on the transfer of Immunisations and Vaccinations linking in with an initiative that was developed during COVID – the Digital Staff Passport. I will report back as this work progresses. I also want to say thank you to those who responded so quickly regarding the education programme on menopause - it was great to see such a positive response.  I will get in touch with all volunteers over the next week or so to discuss next steps. 

As we move into April, I hope you get some down time over the Easter break and the sun continues to shine. 

Best wishes

Hilary Winch

Chair, NHS Health at Work Network


In this edition:

  1. 2022/23 NHS Network Membership – Renew Now!
  2. Growing OH: New Web Pages
  3. Ask-A-Question
  4. NICE Guideline on Mental Wellbeing at Work
  5. When Crisis Hits, Who’ll Look After the Doctors?
  6. Safer Healthcare and BioSafety Network
  7. £200 Member Discount: Certificate in Case Management
  8. Follow-Us: NHS Network Social Media
  9. University of Glasgow Long COVID Study
  10. Useful Resources

1.    2022/23 NHS Network Membership – Renew Now!

Over 90% of NHS occupational health teams in England subscribed to our Network in 2021/22, and renewals for 2022/23 have got off to a flying start!  

Check out the fantastic range of membership packages and contact admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk to renew for 2022/23.  Full membership is the only way to guarantee your place at our highly acclaimed annual conference in September 2022. 

Renew now to take advantage of our early-bird offer which closes at the end of April!

2.    Growing OH Web Pages

We are delighted to launch the new Growing OH section of our website, which is crammed full of important information for NHS OH&WB leaders on NHS England and Improvement’s national strategy and initiatives.

3.    Ask-A-Question

One of the many benefits of your OH Service becoming a Network member is access to our popular Ask-A-Question facility.  We’ve had a great range of questions submitted in the last month, covering topics such as mental health nurses working in OH, clinical supervision and cochlear implants and face masks.  You can see the questions and read all the responses on our website.

Dwayne Gillane, Occupational Health Nurse Manager, at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust recently asked a question and had some great responses.  Dwayne said:

“AAQ demonstrates how we, as an NHS OH community, are willing to support each other in sharing examples of practice and policies.  I’ve regularly responded to queries sent out and more recently when I sent out a question got some great responses from colleagues”. 

4.    NICE Guideline on Mental Wellbeing at Work

This final guideline has now been published on the NICE website. You can also find the supporting evidencetools and resources as well as all the stakeholder comments that we received during consultation and the responses to these comments.  The comments were invaluable in helping us to develop and refine the guideline.  NICE have also produced an equality impact assessment to support the guideline. 

There is brief information about the guideline for people using services, carers and the public at Information for the public

You might want to review this NICE guideline in conjunction with the NHS England Health  and Wellbeing Framework at https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-health-and-wellbeing-framework/

5.    When Crisis Hits, Who’ll Look After the Doctors?  

Are you working with a doctor who is struggling financially because of illness, injury, disability or bereavement?  The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF) may be able to help.  OH professionals are being urged to look out for doctors among their patients, and to signpost them to the charity.  Support available includes financial help with the day-to-day cost of living, and back to work awards for retraining and professional fees. Doctors seeking help should contact help@rmbf.org to talk to the RMBF Casework team in confidence. And for more information on what support is available, visit rmbf.org

6.    Safer Healthcare and Biosafety Network: Sign-Up

The Safer Healthcare and Biosafety Network (SHBN) is strongly supporting the establishment of an annual UK national database of blood & body fluid exposures (BBFE) in healthcare personnel (HCP).

The 2021 Royal College of Nursing Report on blood & body fluid exposures (BBFE) revealed an alarmingly high incidence of both sharps injuries and mucocutaneous exposures, however the UK has no national BBFE database from which to draw conclusions re trends and Covid impact.

SHBN, NHS England and three major OH and safety associations agree that a publicly available, high-level national BBFE annual survey is needed for national and healthcare facility BBFE benchmarking.

Dr Kevin Hambridge (Plymouth Univ.) and Terry Grimmond, two international BBFE researchers, are co-leading the BBFE Working Group, with the 2019-2021 BBFE survey occurring mid-2022. 

If you are willing to participate in the survey, simply email Ian Lindsley at ian.lindsley@shbn.org.uk with your name, title, email address and facility name – with “BBFE Survey” in the email title. These details will not be shared with anyone – they are strictly for the BBFE survey.  Thank you in advance for your support with this important work.

7.    Network Member Benefit: £200 Discount – Certificate in Case Management 

The At Work Partnership are pleased to offer NHS Health at Work Network members a discount of £200 + VAT for places on their Certificate in OH Case Management course, which is running as a virtual course from 28 to 30 June, 2020.  This practical three-day qualification, is designed to develop your knowledge and understanding of essential case management concepts to improve the OH management of disability, absence and return to work.  The outstanding subject knowledge of the expert lecturing team, that includes course director, Dr Nerys Willliams, and Professor Kim Burton (one of the founders of the biopsychosocial and flags approach), will ensure that you come away with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the case management skills that OH professionals need in practice. 

Book and pay by 3 May 2022 to qualify for the early bird rate.

To book or for more information visit: https://ohaw.co/casemgt2022

8.    Follow Us: NHS Network Social Media

We are delighted to have our new social media pages up and running. You can now keep up-to-date on all of our latest news and updates around occupational health on both Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to follow us at the links below!









9.     Join the University of Glasgow Long COVID Study

Researchers at the University of Glasgow are seeking participants with Long COVID for a study. The NIHR-funded ReDIRECT trial will test whether a well-established weight management programme can help improve Long COVID symptoms, such as fatigue, breathlessness, and pain. The entire programme will be delivered remotely with professional personal support to people at home.

The study team are looking to recruit people aged 18 and over with Long COVID (ongoing symptoms for at least 3 months) who have a BMI above 27 kg/m2 (or above 25 kg/m2 for people from South Asian ethnicities).

For more information, please visit the study website https://redirectstudy.co.uk/. The ReDIRECT study team can be contacted by email at redirect-study@glasgow.ac.uk or by phone on 0141 330 5765.

10. Useful Resources

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development have published Hybrid Working – Practical Guidance.

The Office for National Statistics report on ‘Homeworking and spending during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Great Britain: April 2020 to January 2022’ is available here

The Health and Safety Executive’s website explains British health and safety laws and lists what workers and their employers should do.  If you employ anyone, you must either:

  • display the health and safety law poster where your workers can easily read it
  • provide each worker with the equivalent health and safety law leaflet

There are various versions of the poster, so you can select the most appropriate for your business. You can:

The HSE website has updated their guidance on COSHH and woodworking.  Every year in the UK, around 12,000 people die from lung diseases linked to past exposure to hazardous substances at work.  This includes inhalation of wood dust that can cause occupational asthma and, in the case of hardwoods, sinonasal cancer.

Employers have a legal duty to ensure they comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), as amended, to:

  • control exposure to wood dusts
  • protect workers’ health


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.

Hilary Winch, Chair                                                 hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk

Andrew Gilbey, General Manager                       admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk  

Postal address: NHS Health at Work, PO Box 857, York YO31 6FR