Welcome to our August 2022 Bulletin

/Board members/Giles_Wright

Dear Colleagues 

I can hardly believe that it’s almost conference time again! If you have yet to get your delegate place booked, time and space is running out! 

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the last few years in my role as deputy chair and as an OH colleague.  I step down in September from the Board and have stepped out of the OH world.  I am thrilled by what the Network has achieved and excited by what is to come.  I wish you all, and especially the Network Board, the very best for the future. 

Best wishes

Giles Wright

Deputy Chair, NHS Health at Work Network


In this edition:

  1. Network Annual Conference 7 & 8 September
  2. Movers and Shakers
  3. More Healthcare Professionals to Sign Fit Notes
  4. Certificate in Managing Mental Health at Work at Work: £200 Discount for Members
  5. Too Hot to Work?
  6. Deloitte Report: UK Mental Health and Employers – The Case for Investment
  7. Working at Heights
  8. The Changing Workplace: Enabling Disability-Inclusive Hybrid Working
  9. MoHaWK
  10. Useful Resources



1.    Network Annual Conference 7 & 8 September

Our Network Annual Conference will be held on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 September 2022 at the Woodland Grange Hotel and Conference Centre in Warwickshire.  We have a great line up of speakers including:

- Dr. Richard Heron, former President of FOM and ex CMO at BP

- Professor Diana Kloss MBE

- John Drew, Director of Staff Experience and Engagement at NHS England

- the inspirational Ed Hollamby

- Suzanne Banks, Clinical Programme Lead for the Menopause Improvement Programme

- an OH case study from Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust

- and some participative workshops to help further co-design the national Growing OH and Wellbeing Strategy Together.

We have written to all Network Members to confirm your places, so if you haven’t seen the e-mail, please contact forumconferences@btinternet.com

Whilst we have now sold out of the 24-hour delegate places, a limited number of day delegate places are still available.  Contact Anna at forumconferences@btinternet.com for more information.

2.    Movers and Shakers

We will soon be saying goodbye to Giles Wright, our Deputy Chair, who is moving on to a new role in his Trust outside of the OH Service and will be leading on good work, including wider determinants of wellbeing and staff retention at trust and system levels.  

Congratulations to our two new Deputy Chairs, Nicola Bullen and Dr. Masood Aga, who will commence in post from the day of our conference. 

Nicola is the Assistant Director, Health, Safety and Wellbeing at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust.  Nicola has worked in and with the NHS and OH for over two decades.

Masood is an existing Board member, and is the Clinical Director for Occupational Medicine and also Specialty Lead for Health and Wellbeing at Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

3.    More Healthcare Professionals To Sign Fit Notes

New legislation to allow a wider range of healthcare professionals to certify fit notes has been introduced by the UK government to ease pressure on GPs.  This legislation change applies across England, Scotland and Wales.  

In support of this change, the DWP have developed new guidance developed with Health Education England for Health Care Practitioners, their employers and a training module. 

Nurses, occupational therapists, pharmacists and physiotherapists can now all certify fit notes, along with healthcare professionals in primary care who can do this digitally, removing a requirement for fit notes to be signed in ink.

4.    Member Benefit: Certificate in Managing Mental Health at Work - £200 Discount

The At Work Partnership is delighted to offer NHS Health at Work Network members a discount of £200 + VAT for places on their Certificate in Managing Mental Health at Work This practical three-day qualification is designed to give OH professionals the in-depth knowledge, strategies, skills and techniques to successfully manage mental health at work. It will examine the promotion of good mental health at work; fitness for work; reasonable adjustments; reducing presenteeism and sickness absence through prevention, support at work and effective return-to-work programmes, as well as looking at the impact of COVID-19 on mental health at work.

Book and pay by 20 August 2022 to qualify for the early bird rates! 

To secure your place and for more information visit: https://ohaw.co/MMHAW22

5.    Too Hot to Work?

There's no law for maximum working temperature, or when it's too hot to work.

In offices or similar environments, the temperature in workplaces must be reasonable.

Employers must stick to health and safety at work law, including:

  • keeping the temperature at a comfortable level, sometimes known as thermal comfort,
  • providing clean and fresh air.

The HSE thermal comfort checklist (PDF) can help you identify whether there may be a risk of thermal discomfort in your workplace.

Employees should talk to their employer if the workplace temperature isn't comfortable. The HSE has guidance on what you can do to feel more comfortable.

6.    Deloitte UK Mental Health & Employers: The Case for Investment

Poor mental health and wellbeing costs the NHS an estimated £12.1 billion a year, new research suggests.

Saving the equivalent of just 10% of lost days each year, could pay for more than 34,000 nurses and 17,000 doctors, according to the analysis by the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO), the University of East Anglia and RAND Europe.

7.    Working at Heights

Falls when working at height remain the most common kind of workplace fatality.

The HSE has released the latest annual fatality statistics, and there were 29 fatal injuries caused by falling from height in 2021/22.

Ladders and stepladders are not banned under health and safety law.  They can be a sensible and practical option for low-risk, short-duration tasks, although they should not automatically be your first choice.

To help you make sure you use the right type of ladder, and that you know how to use it safely, the HSE website has updated guidance on staying safe when using ladders at work. It now includes:

  • more detail on competency, and what that means for ladder users and those managing ladder use on site
  • key safety advice for using telescopic ladders
  • practical tips for using combination and multi-purpose ladders
  • good practice for securing ladders.

You can also download the guidance document Safe use of ladders and stepladders, which was jointly produced by HSE and the Ladder Association.

For more information and advice visit the HSE working at height website.

8.    The Changing Workplace: Enabling Disability-Inclusive Hybrid Working

The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally shifted the way in which people work, with a rise in remote and hybrid working.  While many workers, businesses and sectors have benefited from changing working practices during the pandemic, disabled people bore the brunt of the pandemic’s economic consequences and experienced higher rates of unemployment and redundancies than non-disabled people.

Through a survey of 406 disabled people, interviews with 20 disabled workers, and two roundtables with employers and other stakeholders, The Work Foundation has developed new evidence about disabled workers’ experiences of remote and hybrid work.  Read their report here.

9.    MoHaWK

Round 21 is now open for data input.  As per previous rounds we have left the round 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 and backlog. 

Please find enclosed the briefing notes for Round 21

If you have any specific queries then contact hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk

10. Useful Resources

The Government’s Women’s Health Strategy for England, detailing the 10-year ambition to improve the health and wellbeing of women and girls has just been published.


HSE’s Working Minds campaign is working with The Burnt Chef Project to raise awareness of signs and causes of stress in hospitality so that employers can recognise and respond to reduce risk to workers.

In addition to long, antisocial hours and tough environmental conditions, noise can contribute to stress levels within the industry and negatively impact mental health.

A recent survey reported that noise levels in London eateries are the highest in Europe, with 50 per cent of restaurants exceeding 80 dBA during peak times. 

Under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (Noise Regulations 2005), employers must prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work. 

The HSE has practical guidance on what you can do to protect your workers, including:

For further information and guidance on noise at work, visit HSE's noise website.


A number of people are killed or seriously injured in Great Britain each year in confined spaces.

A confined space is a place:

  • which is substantially enclosed (though not always entirely)
  • where serious injury can occur from hazardous substances or conditions within the space or nearby

Download a free copy of the HSE Safe work in confined spaces publication, which explains the definition, gives examples and helps you put precautions in place for work to be carried out safely.


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