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NHS Health at Work September bulletin

/Board members/DMJDear Colleagues

We now have the results of the Network Survey and a big thank you to all who participated. We will be sharing the results with you at our conference on the 14th, just over a week to go!

I am hearing of much concern about the effect that Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs) are having across the country. It seems a progression from the work that was done by ourselves for NHS Employers back in 2013 around the future consolidation of NHS services, but it is now being driven on the back of the Carter Review as a “consolidation of back office functions” and it appears that because most of us sit under HR directorates we are seen as a back office function!

My own view, for what it is worth, is that we provide a “clinical service” which protects the safety of both staff and patients and we are not a back office function. However, shortages of qualified OH staff across the country are making us all more vulnerable to being merged into larger units so the big question is how we protect our profession and prove our value as highlighted in “The OH Value Proposition”, published by the SOM earlier in the year. This provides us with an interesting starting point but for us as a body of health professionals we need to find ways of proving our value, and as part of that we need to ask all of you to contribute case studies where we have made a difference so that we can collate this into an enhanced evidence portfolio for the Network.

On a personal note I am leaving Guy's & St Thomas’ this week so by the time I see you at conference will be working at Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust. I look forward to seeing you there at what promises to be an interesting and informative conference.

Best wishes to you all

David Maslen-Jones
Deputy Chair

The next edition will be circulated on 11th October.

In this edition:
1. Network Annual Conference – 13/14th September 2017
2. Shortage of Hep B vaccine
3. Network Board appointments
4. MoHaWK
5. NSOH newsletter
6. Poll on integrating OH into the NHS
7. Health and Work Champions
8. NICE 2016/17 annual review
9. Flu fighter update
10. NHS Employers update

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

Just a week until our annual conference at Chesford Grange and we are looking forward to an interesting programme and the opportunity to meet up with colleagues from around the country.

All delegates will have received an email confirmation from Anna McNeil at Forum Conferences. If you have booked a place but not received your confirmation please contact Anna at or call 01255 862 038 or 07932 737 844 to check on your booking.

If you have not booked but would now like to, please contact Anna or to check if there is any late availability.

Full details of the conference are available here.

2. Shortage of Hep B vaccine

This month, the Network worked with Public Health England to develop guidance for NHS OH services and non-NHS services in response to the national shortage of Hep B vaccine. Both letters were sent out via the website but are also available below for information.

Guidance for NHS OH services
Guidance for non-NHS OH services

3. Network Board appointments

We are pleased to confirm the following appointments to the Board.

Barry Lane is returning to the Board to represent the South West region. Barry is the Business Manager at Avon Partnership NHS Occupational Health Service and served a full term of office as a founder member of the NHS Health at Work Network Board. We are delighted to welcome him back to the Board.

Dr Chamishani Rathmalgoda will be taking up the role of London representative with effect from 22nd September. Chami is an occupational health physician currently undertaking speciality training at King’s College Hospital, having completed her undergraduate studies in Australia. She is also a committee member of LCOHPS and will make an excellent addition to the Board.

4. MoHaWK – Round 11

You can still enter data if you missed the deadline due to holidays. Well done on those services who have inputted their data for Round 11. This was the first time that this Round was conducted over the summer months. The impact of holiday season was seen by the level of participation – so if you still need to enter data then the site will be left open.

Round 11 report time – have you pulled off your own report?
For those of you who have inputted your data, please do pull off your own organisational report for this round so you can review your results and make the necessary arrangements for any improvements required. For those of you who are attending the Network conference later this month, a national summary (of results inputted by the end August 2017) will be available at the Syngentis stand. For those not able to be at the conference this year, the summary will be published shortly after.

5. NSOH summer newsletter

The Summer 2017 edition of the National School of Occupational Health newsletter is now available. 
The NSOH conference will be held on 6th February 2018 at Holborn Bars. Details on how to register will be available soon but please save the date!

6. Poll on integrating OH into the NHS

An online poll conducted by Occupational Health [at Work] found little support for integrating OH fully into the NHS. Two press releases show a proposed framework for a national occupational health services, put forward by the editor of Occupational Health [at Work], Dr John Ballard, and the results of the online poll conducted by Occupational Health [at Work].

7. Health and Work champions – deadline extended to 8th October

The deadline for applications to become a Health and Work Champion has been extended to 8th October. Up to 30 people will be recruited as part of a joint project between the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Public Health England and supported by the Council for Work and Health.
To apply you must work in England and have the support of your employer to deliver training in your organisation as this is a voluntary role. To find out more and apply click here.

If you have any questions please email

8. NICE 2016/17 annual review

NICE has just published its 2016/17 annual review, which details the work completed over the last year with highlights from each of the teams within the organisation.  More information is available here.

9. Flu fighter update

This year’s #jabathon will run from 6-10 of November and the first step is to get your Trust’s twitter account signed up to our Thunderclap. This will send one simultaneous tweet at 8:45am on 6 November telling people it’s the start of #jabathon week and asking them to share their reasons for getting their jab. 

For more ideas on how you can use #jabathon to give your flu campaigns a boost go to NHS Employers’ #jabathon page.

New communications toolkit and AV training
The communications toolkit has been revamped to help you put your communication plans into action. The updated planning and reviewing guide can also be found here.

If you would like to learn how to integrate audio and video (AV) into your communications, using your smart phone or tablet, NHS Employers are holding courses in Newcastle on 29 September and Birmingham on 5 October.

Clinical evidence document
Public Health England and flu fighter have reviewed the clinical evidence document which explains some of the key evidence behind the flu jab. Please feel free to share this document across your trust or share the flu matters webpage which condenses some of this info for staff and addresses common myths.

Flu effectiveness figures
Public Health England has released flu effectiveness figures for 2016/17 season. The average effectiveness of the flu vaccine is 39.8 per cent. The flu vaccine has the lowest effectiveness in the elderly, showing how important vaccination is to protect the most vulnerable.

10. NHS Employers update

Public Health England’s (PHE) new framework – importance of physical activity
‘Everybody active, every day’ is a national, evidence-based approach to support all sectors to embed physical activity into the fabric of daily life and make it an easy, cost-effective and ‘normal’ choice in every community in England.  PHE has co-produced the framework with over 1,000 national and local leaders in physical activity and is calling for action from providers and commissioners in: health, social care, transportation, planning, education, sport and leisure, culture, the voluntary and community sector, as well as public and private employers.  Take a look at the different documents which help make active lifestyles a reality for all, the framework’s four areas for action will change the social ‘norm’ to make physical activity the expectation, develop expertise and leadership within professionals and volunteers, create environments to support active lives and identify and up-scale successful programmes nationwide.

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – supporting carers in the workplace
In this new case study find out how Western Sussex colleagues approached their trust’s health and wellbeing group and the board to ask for support and funding to set up the ‘colleagues as carers’ forum.   This forum provides opportunities for carers to rest, away from the wards and other environments, and a chance to talk about their caring responsibilities and the support that they need. 

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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