Read about the latest VCOD guidance, how to renew your Network membership, and our social media launch in our February bulletin.
By the time you read you read this it may be 2022. Happy New Year to you all!
I really do hope that you have had the opportunity over the last week or so to have some relaxation time with those that are close to you (even if plans had to change slightly). As we concluded the year, it was very evident that this pandemic is far from over and as OH teams no doubt you have been responding to changing guidance, providing support to anxious staff as well as possibly getting involved in the late December ‘ramp up booster’ campaign.
From a Network perspective, I draw your attention to item 2 - the Annual General Meeting, which is being held for Members in late January. We are planning to have an update from NHS England and Improvement on the Growing OH programme as part of this meeting, so do join us to hear about the progress that has been made since our conference in September.
As we enter into 2022, we face the new challenge of ‘Vaccine as a Condition of Deployment’ and I am sure we will be all working with our organisations to unpick the guidance and developing organisational process. It would be great to share local progress across the Network, so do please do get in touch with your regional representative to share how this is going in your area.
Chair, NHS Health at Work Network
In this edition:
- Funded OH Leadership Development Programmes
- NHS Network AGM
- NHS Network Membership – Renew Now
- Health & Wellbeing Conversations – Line Manager Training
- Working Minds Campaign Launched
- HSE Covid Update
- Menopause and Work
- Workplace Vaccination Policy Research
- Useful Resources
1. Funded OH Leadership Development Programmes for NHS Colleagues
The Growing OH Team are pleased to announce a range of funded development opportunities for our NHS OH leaders and practitioners.
The prospectus provides an overview of all leadership and service improvement development opportunities for NHS employed OH people (and those working closely with OH) that are fully funded by NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI).
Before applying, all applicants are encouraged to ensure that they have agreement from their employer to commit to all aspects of the programme. Full engagement and attendance is essential to maximise impact and evaluation, which will help NHSEI to make the case for continued funding of these offers in the future. In return for a fully funded place on a programme, NHSEI are seeking OH practitioners and leaders to rise to the challenge of supporting the improvement initiatives as part of the Growing OH programme – collaboratively and as a community of practice.
2. NHS Health at Work Network: Annual General Meeting
The Network will be holding their AGM via Zoom on Thursday 27 January, 16.00 – 16.30, followed by an update from NHS England and Improvement on the exciting Growing OH programme from 16.30 - 17.30. E-mail us at email@example.com to book your place.
3. 2022/2023 NHS Network Membership – Renew Now!
Over 90% of NHS occupational health teams in England subscribed to our Network in 2021. You can now renew your Network membership for 2022/2023. Check out the fantastic range of membership packages and contact firstname.lastname@example.org to renew for 2022/23. Full membership is the only way to guarantee your place at our highly acclaimed annual conference in September 2022.
4. Health & Wellbeing Conversations – Line Manager Training
NHS England is providing free ‘Wellbeing Conversation’ training for NHS line managers. See their website for dates and how to book.
5. Working Minds Campaign Launched
Launched by Sarah Albon, chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive, at the HSE Health and Work Conference earlier this month, Working Minds raises awareness about how to recognise and respond to the signs of stress to protect workers and support good mental health to help people to stay well.
Work-related stress is now the number one cause of employee sickness absence, with major factors causing work-related stress including workload pressures - tight deadlines, too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support. Whether you are a GP practice, a hospital, or a care home, the law requires every employer to assess the risk of work-related stress and to put measures in place to tackle it.
6. Latest Covid Updates from HSE
The UK government has announced Plan B measures for England in response to the risks of the Omicron variant. The most recent GOV.UK guidance has information on the latest public health measures, including face coverings, COVID-19 status checks and the NHS Pass. Those who can work from home should do so. Anyone who cannot work from home should continue to go to the workplace. There is separate advice for Scotland and Wales.
HSE’s latest advice on keeping workplaces safe will help you to continue to work safely during the pandemic. You must still control the risks and review and update your risk assessment. The following workplace controls remain unchanged:
Home working guidance and resources - as an employer, you have the same health and safety responsibilities for people working at home as for any other worker. The HSE’s home working guidance has been redesigned and expanded to provide more detail on straightforward actions to manage home workers’ health and safety.
7. MoHaWK – Round 20 is on its way!
Round 19 will be closed on 31st December and then Round 20 opens on 1st January 2022 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 for when you can submit data.
8. Menopause and Work
NHS England and Improvement has developed guidance on recording menopause-related sickness absence on the NHS electronic staff record. It is now possible to enter a menopause-related reason against a sickness absence record. ‘By recording accurately, organisations can gain a better understanding of the impact menopause is having on their colleagues and put in place the necessary support,’ it says. NHS Employers has a dedicated web page on menopause and work, which includes a link to the guidance on recording menopause-related absences. Read more here
9. Workplace Vaccination Policy Research
‘The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute at the University of Cambridge, supported by the Wellcome Trust, are currently undertaking a consultation project about workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies. When organisations develop such policies, they are intended to clarify what is expected from employees, managers, and HR departments. However, there is considerable uncertainty about many aspects of these policies at present. In particular, very little is known about the views of staff themselves that could help guide employers and government in identifying areas of concern and responding appropriately.
As part of their consultation, THIS Institute are very keen to engage with a wide range of sectors to understand staff views. They are inviting NHS Trusts to take part by completing a short confidential questionnaire to online. You can sign up on the secure Thiscovery platform. Participation is anonymous for both individuals and organisations – no-one and no organisation will be identified in any report. THIS will also provide you with the overall findings of the consultation.
The consultation is being coordinated by Becky Kenny and Jan van der Scheer, who would both be more than happy to respond to any queries at Workplace_COVID@thisinstitute.cam.ac.uk.
10. Useful Resources
The Office for National Statistics website provides a live roundup of the latest data and trends relating to Covid-19.
The Future of NHS Human Resources and Organisational Development - A new NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I) report sets out a vision and actions that support delivery of the NHS People Plan. It stresses the importance of integrated care and a new emphasis of openness to working alongside others, ensuring collaboration rather than competition.
Updated NICE Guideline on Tobacco - this final guideline [NG209] has now been published on the NICE website. You can also find the supporting evidence, tools and resources as well as all the stakeholder comments received during consultation and the responses to these comments. NICE have also produced an equality impact assessment to support the guideline.
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Gilbey, Network Manager email@example.com
Postal address: NHS Health at Work, PO Box 857, York YO31 6FR