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NHS Health at Work August bulletin

/Board members/Shriti_PattaniWelcome to our August bulletin

Dear Colleagues

A big thank to those who completed the membership survey. The results will be shared with network members and I plan to use the information to shape the direction of my leadership as Chair over the next few years.

It was pleasing to hear from Justin Varney that Public Health England are considering pilots based on the recommendations in the Green Paper on Work, Health and Disability. The Network has expressed an interest in supporting any work in this area. I expect to be able to share more details with you towards the end of the year.

We have now agreed a direct link with Dr Mary Ramsay, Consultant Epidemiologist and Head of Immunisation, PHE, who will keep the Network informed of any intended changes to national guidance on vaccinations affecting healthcare workers. Following the global shortage of Hepatitis B vaccine, PHE have published draft recommendations; the link is in the bulletin. The shortage is expected to continue until early 2018.

Despite the challenges we face in the NHS I hope you are all having a good summer and I look forward to seeing many of you at the annual conference in September.

Best wishes
Shriti Pattani

The next edition will be circulated on 6th September.

In this edition:
1. Network Annual Conference – 13/14th September 2017
2. Network Board vacancies
3. Network members’ survey
4. MoHaWK
5. NICE quality standard on low back pain
6. Shortage of Hep B vaccine
7. Supporting chronic and long-term health conditions at work
8. Assessing fitness to drive
9. RCN guidance for mentors of nursing and midwifery students
10. Member Benefit - The At Work Partnership: Certificate in Occupational Health Law
11. Flu fighter update
12. NHS Employers’ update

1. Network Annual Conference – 13/14th September 2017

There are still a number of Network member organisations who have not booked their free conference place, so make sure you take advantage of this key member benefit and let us know who will be attending from your team by completing a booking form.

Full details of the conference are available here and your place includes our AGM and conference dinner on Wednesday evening, overnight accommodation, followed by the conference day on Thursday. Additional full and day conference places can also be purchased.

If you are not a Network member you can still join us for the conference day on Thursday 14th September at a cost of £295.

Please contact if you have any queries.

2. Network members’ survey

Thanks to everyone who completed the Network members’ survey. We had an excellent response rate of 55% (67 members). We will now start to analyse the results to report back to the Board at the September meeting.

3. Network Board vacancies – closing date Friday 4th August

Just a reminder that the closing date for application for the South West and London Board vacancies is Friday 4th August. Click on the appropriate link for further details and an application form or email if you have any queries or to let us know that you are planning to apply.

4. MoHaWK – There’s still time to input for Round 11

Due to a number of you being on holiday in the last 4 weeks (and, of course, the August doctor intake!) Round 11 will remain open until mid-August, so there is still time to input some data.

For those services who attended the workshops earlier in the year, this is your chance to make sure you really use MoHaWK to its full potential. It is equally important for those services undertaking their annual renewal with SEQOHS - make sure you are participating in the only available national quality improvement tool.

Any queries - or if you wish to submit data after 10th August - please contact

5. NICE quality standard on low back pain

The NICE quality standard on low back pain was published at the end of July. A copy is available here.

6. Shortage of Hep B vaccine

As you are probably aware there is a shortage of hepatitis B vaccine in the UK as a result of global supply issues with manufacturers. PHE has drafted some temporary Hep B vaccine recommendations in light of the current vaccine shortages. A copy is available here.

It also appears on the main PHE Hep B page under vaccination.

7. Supporting chronic and long-term health conditions at work

The University of Loughborough is examining workplace support needs and activation. With increasing rates of long term chronic health conditions, their research aims to improve working lives by enhancing our knowledge and understanding of workplace health support needs from a personal perspective, with a particular interest in prevalent conditions including, amongst others, psychological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and lung disorders. You do not need to have a health condition to take part. 

To find out more and help improve working lives, share your experience in the confidential online survey by 9pm on 31 August at

If you have any queries please contact Sally Hemming at

8. Assessing fitness to drive

The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) has published revised guidance on assessing fitness to drive. A copy is available here.

9. RCN guidance for mentors of nursing and midwifery students

The importance of the role of mentors and the quality of the mentorship offered in the practice environment, wherever that may be, cannot be over-emphasised. This guidance from the RCN outlines the responsibilities of a mentor alongside those of students, higher education institutions (HEIs) and practice-based learning providers.

10. Member Benefit - The At Work Partnership: Certificate in Occupational Health Law

Part one: 27-29 September 2017
Part two: 14-15 November 2017
Central London

There is still time to book for the above course and claim your NHS Health at Work network members’ discount of £200 + VAT. This highly regarded, five-day qualification is designed to provide occupational health professionals with an in-depth understanding of OH law at work.

Book and pay by 15 August 2017 to qualify for the early bird rates.
More information is available here.

11. Flu fighter update

NICE consultation on improving flu vaccine uptake
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have released a draft consultation on how to improve flu vaccination uptake. In the draft, there are specific recommendations for employers of health and social care workers. The draft guidelines are open for consultation until 4 August. NHS Employers are developing a response on behalf of NHS trusts. This will include: the use of staff incentives, declination policies for staff who choose not to get vaccinated, accessibility and publicising of vaccines, and mandatory vaccination. More information is available on their website.

If you work at an NHS trust and would like to add to or suggest changes to the response, please email

Order your new flu fighter resources now
The ordering system is now open until Sunday 13 August. To order the latest resources and have them delivered free of charge, simply complete this online form.

This year, you’ll be able to add your mobile number to receive a text when your flu materials are delivered. If you would like a text upon delivery, please ensure to include the mobile number (not landline) of the person who will receive the flu resources, not the person ordering (if different).

What you can order

  • A choice of seven posters
  • Stickers with three different designs
  • Payslip leaflet with an infection prevention and mythbusting message
  • Business card for peer vaccinators to hand out which direct staff to

Also included on the online form is an editable poster you can download and add your local flu jab statistics to. It is hoped to have all deliveries sent out by the beginning of September. In the meantime, if you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact or by telephone on 0844 334 5252.

Flu fighter videos
A collection of videos is available here, which are free for you to use in your local flu fighter campaigns.

12. NHS Employers’ update

New sickness absence savings calculator
A revised sickness absence calculator has been launched to help you calculate your sickness absence rates. The calculator helps you to see how much money you could save in taking targeted action to reduce sickness absence.

Network meetings for health and wellbeing leads
Catch up on activity at the latest meetings when the three priority areas for this year were discussed; mental health, sickness absence and musculoskeletal issues.

NHS Employers will be working with individual employers to help create a step change in these areas that can then be shared across the system. If you are interested in working with them on any of the three key areas please email

PHE infographics on health and wellbeing at work
Public Health England (PHE) and The Work Foundation have collaborated to produce 13 infographics to highlight common issues for wellbeing at work. You can access and download them on the PHE website.
The Health at Work Policy Unit’s new paper on health at work
In June, the Health at Work Policy Unit launched a new paper on “Not Just Women’s Issues: Reproductive and Gynaecological Health at Work”. The report is available from the Work Foundation website, along with the background paper to the ‘Gender, Sex and Health at Work’ series. They also have a series of infographics to help highlight the issues and recommendations raised in the paper.

The next paper from the series on gender and health, discussing men’s mental health, and their separate work stream on self-employment and health, will be released over the next few month.


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

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.

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.

Dr Shriti Pattani, Chair
Andrew Gilbey, Network Manager
Wendy Coleman, Network Administrator or

Postal address: PO Box 642, BS23 9NG
Tel: 07584 269322

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