Welcome to our August Bulletin

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Dear Colleagues

It’s been a busy month in the life of the Network!  Our annual conference programme has been secured and it is looking to be a great 24 hours.  Please see item 1 in this bulletin for more details and to make sure you have confirmed your place. 

In other news, I hope you all have seen the announcement sent out just over a week ago about the NHS England & Improvement ‘Growing Occupational Health’ programme. If not do click on the link Latest News - NHS Health at Work Network and make sure you sign up for the engagement events and complete the survey.  It’s really important that you have your say and also gain insight into the commitment from NHSE/I to ensure our services are appropriately recognised. This is definitely worth 30 minutes out of your day to review! 

Despite the rising cases of COVID-19 nationally which no doubt impacts on your Services,  I really do hope you all have chance to rest and recuperate over these summer months. I suspect we are in for another busy autumn!  

Best wishes

Hilary Winch

Chair, NHS Health at Work Network


In this edition:

  1. NHS Network Annual Conference
  2. Growing OH
  3. Health is Everyone’s Business: Government Response
  4. Working Safely During Covid-19
  5. Linda Lewis: North West Region Network Board Appointment
  6. Network Member Discount: Certificate in Managing OH 
  7. NICE Consultation on Tobacco
  8. Covid Mask Upgrade Cuts Infection
  9. HSE Update on Occupational Lung Disease
  10. MoHaWK
  11. Latest News, Research and Guidance

1.    NHS Health at Work Network Annual Conference – 14th & 15th September, 2021

A date for your diaries – the 15th September will see our face-to-face Annual Conference at the Chesford Grange Centre in Warwickshire.  We are delighted to have secured Dr. Steve Boorman, Professor Diana Kloss, Dr Robin Cordell, and John Drew and Steve Lee from NHS England and NHS Improvement as our key speakers, along with a range of inspiring other case study presentations.

For all those Trusts which have renewed their Network membership to include a conference place, if you haven’t yet had confirmation of your booked place from us, that means we haven’t received your booking form. If you are unsure or need a booking form, please contact anna@forumconferences.com

Whilst the 24-hour delegate places have now all sold out, day delegate conference places are still available at £245, with discounts available for all Full and Associate Networks Members.  Please get in touch with anna@forumconferences.com if you’d like to book a place.

2.    Growing OH: Book Your Place and Take the Survey

NHS England and NHS Improvement have just announced the launch of a major new programme – 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 the OH community to grow the Service, and our OH people together. 

The links to book your place on the engagement events and to take the survey are on our website at https://www.nhshealthatwork.co.uk/growingoh.asp

3.    Health is Everyone’s Business

The Government response to Health is Everyone's Business has just been published, which can be accessed via the links below:

Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss

A study of work and health transitions: analysis of Understanding Society

Shaping future support: the health and disability green paper

Innovation and knowledge development amongst providers of occupational health

4.    Working Safely During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Council for Work and Health have published guidance for employers on “Working safely during the COVID-19 pandemic as community restrictions ease”.  The full statement is on the Council’s website (https://www.councilforworkandhealth.org.uk/news/)

5.    NHS Health at Work Network Board: North West Representative

Congratulations to Linda Lewis, the Assistant Director of OH & Wellbeing at Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust, who is succeeding Dr. Donald Menzies as the North West region representative on the Network Board from September.  A big thank you to Donald for his sterling work on the Board over the last 6 years!

6.    Network Member Discount: Certificate in Managing OH 

The At Work Partnership is delighted to offer NHS Health at Work Network members a discount of £200 + VAT for places on our Certificate in Managing Occupational Health Services. This three-day Certificate programme is being run as a virtual event from 11 – 13 October, and is designed to equip you with the essential management tools to deliver a successful occupational health service. 

Book and pay by 15 August 2021 to qualify for our early bird rates. 

More information is available from:  https://www.atworkpartnership.co.uk/conference/certificate-in-managing-occupational-health-services-2021

7.    NICE Consultation on Tobacco

This draft guideline makes recommendations on e-cigarettes and the use of voucher incentives to encourage pregnant women to quit. Tobacco: preventing uptake, promoting quitting and treating dependence consolidates and updates 8 previous guidelines on smoking. We’re consulting on the draft recommendations until Friday 6 August.

8.    Covid: Masks Upgrade Cuts Infection Risk

The quality of face masks healthcare workers wear makes a huge difference to their risk of coronavirus infection, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust research has found.  You can read more here and hear at first hand from Lead Researcher, Dr. Mark Ferris at our conference on 15 September.

9.    HSE Update: Occupational Lung Disease

Last year, around 12,000 people in the UK died from lung diseases estimated to be linked to past exposure at work.  If you’re an employer, you have a legal duty to protect workers’ respiratory health. Breathing in certain dust, gases, vapours and fumes at work can cause life-changing lung disease. 

Ensure you have effective measures in place to control exposure in your workplace. Visit the HSE lung disease basics webpage for more information and guidance. 

10. MoHaWK Update

Round 19 opened on 1st July 2021 for data input. As per previous rounds we will leave this open until the commencement of the following round as this appears to have worked well for many Services who are still balancing work demands associated with the pandemic. This process allows greater flexibility of when you submit data.

Please find the briefing notes for Round 19 which are also located on the MoHaWK website.  If you have any specific queries then do make contact via hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk . Please note I am on leave for  the first 2 weeks of August and so will respond to any emails on my return.

11. Latest Research, Guidance and News

Mandatory vaccines for care home workers: Following a public consultation, the government is planning on introducing legislation to require care homes to only deploy workers who have received their Covid-19 vaccination.  The law will also apply to agency workers, volunteers, and anyone else coming into care homes to do work, including tradespeople, hairdressers, beauticians, etc.  Exclusions for people with medical exemptions will apply.  See https://questions-statements.parliament.uk

Working in Hot Conditions:

HSE has plenty of guidance on workplace temperature, including:

Post Covid-19 Syndrome: A study suggests more than 2 million people in England may have had symptoms of Covid-19 lasting more than three months.  37.7% experienced at least one symptom, and 14.8% at least three symptoms.  Prevalence was higher in women than men, and associated with being overweight, low income and social deprivation.  Read more here


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, Network Manager                       admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk  

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