Welcome to our July 2024 Bulletin

/Board Members 2022/543A8566

Dear Colleagues

It was good to see so many faces at the recent pertussis/measles breakfast meeting arranged by NHS England. If you didn’t manage to attend, please check out item 2 in the newsletter. Like many of you, I have been heavily involved in planning for the roll out of Priority Group 2 workers having the pertussis vaccination as well as a high level of contact tracing surrounding pertussis. It seems this year is full of infection risk and a reminder to Trusts of the importance of Immunisation Protection for Healthcare workers. 

I want to draw your attention to the Network conference in September (item 1). Planning is well underway, the line up for speakers is looking fabulous and I am super excited that we will be hosting our very first NHS OHPRAS (Occupational Health PRofessionals Awards) on the first evening. The number of entries has been fantastic and far exceeded our expectations! If you haven’t already, do book your conference place before we sell out! It’s the event of the year not to miss! 

I suspect many of you are on ‘countdown’ to some holiday time in the forthcoming weeks – I hope you manage to get some well-deserved ‘R&R’ before the business of the autumn season in OH commences. 

Best wishes

Hilary Winch

Chair, NHS Health at Work Network


In this edition:

1. Annual Conference: Places Booking Up Fast

2. Pertussis Briefing From Our Chair Hilary

3. Immunisations Reports – Fraud Alert

4. Evaluating and Supporting Neurodifferences at Work

5. Network Member Discount: Practical OH Law Certificate

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6. Free Lunch and Learn Webinars

7. Welcome Lindsey

8. Health and Safety Competencies for NHS Managers

9. MoHaWK: Round 25 is on the Way!

10. Courses, Resources and News

1.    Annual Conference: Places Booking Up Fast!

We are looking forward to seeing many of you at our Annual Conference on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th September. We have an excellent line up of speakers on the main conference day on the 12th, and you can read more on our website.

Places are booking up fast! There are now just a limited number of 24-hour conference places available, but we still have good availability for the day conference on the 12th. If you’d like to book extra places, please contact Anna McNeil, our conference organiser, at forumconferences@btinternet.com and she will send you the relevant booking form. Good discounts are available to Network members!

2.    Pertussis Briefing From Our Chair Hilary

I am conscious that many of you made the time to dial into the breakfast briefing session last week with regards to Pertussis and Measles. I am sure those who did attend found it very beneficial. For those who were not able to juggle their diaries for the meeting, I would strongly recommend that you watch the meeting to hear first-hand the updates, particularly in relation to the expansion of the occupational vaccine programme for Pertussis in healthcare workers. This programme will now be expanded to Group 2 – ‘HCWs with regular clinical contact with young unimmunised infants in hospital or community settings’. Colleagues who were present at the meeting will verify that requests to ensure our local Trust senior leaders are aware of the resource impact that this will have on our occupational health teams. 

The Core list on the Network site has been updated and we are hopeful that the associated documentation will be launched very soon, as well as the NHS England ‘Immunisation and Vaccination Framework’. We will of course also update the Network’s Immunisation Guidance document accordingly as soon as all the latest information is published. 

Access to the session recording is available via the NHS Futures ‘Growing OHWB’ page. This can be accessed via login access to NHS Futures at the following link: 

Growing OHWB breakfast session 3: Special vaccination session: 13 June 2024 - Growing Occupational Health and Wellbeing Together - FutureNHS Collaboration Platform

A copy of the recently updated 'Core List New Starter Immune Status Check, Vaccinations, Testing & Blood-Borne Virus Clearance' is available on the Network website.

The UKHSA have also produced a Pertussis briefing note. Specific reference to the role and responsibility of occupational health can be found at the bottom of page four and top of page five.

3.    Immunisation Reports – Fraud Alert!

A Network Member Service has highlighted an issue of concern with regards to immunisation reports generated from OH systems. In this case, a fraudulent immunisation history had been sent by an applicant to a nursing agency who asked the OH Service to verify the report. It was noted that the immunisation report contained:

  • font changes in comparison to a report that is normally produced from the system – it appeared ‘tight’ which usually happens if someone has edited a PDF, and some of the shaded rows were not straight
  • DOB was written in American format
  • Date missing from one of the vaccinations
  • Email address and telephone number was missing from the logo on the top of the report

Upon investigation it was identified that: 

  • the applicant was not on their OH IT system and there were no similar names under the relevant details
  • the flow of the immunisations was checked and there was no one who had received the series of immunisation or blood screening on the dates detailed

The OH Service has escalated to gain advice from their Trust’s fraud experts, and escalated to the software provider to establish if any verification elements can be placed on the report

This alert it to ensure all OH Services are being vigilant when receiving immunisation reports from workers to check that they appear legitimate and if necessary, consider verifying the accuracy of any report with the source OH provider. If anyone else has had a similar experience, it would be good to hear from you and the experience / actions taken. Please get in touch with Hilary Winch, NHS Network Chair via hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk

4.    Evaluating and Supporting Neurodifferences at Work

The Society of Occupational Medicine has published a report on Evaluating and Supporting Neurodifferences at Work, aimed at supporting OH and HR professionals when considering the different options of available support and the employer’s legal duty.

5.    Network Member Discount: Practical OH Law Certificate

The At Work Partnership is delighted to offer NHS Health at Work Network members a discount of £200 + VATfor places on their Practical OH Law Certificate, a virtual course running from 15th to 17th October 2024. This practical three-day qualification is designed to provide OH professionals with an in-depth understanding of OH law at work and will give a detailed comprehension of your legal responsibilities. The course is led by Prof Diana Kloss - a leading authority on OH law, who is renowned for her clear explanations and expert guidance. Don’t miss out, join the At Work Partnership in October for this fantastic course!

Book and pay by 6 September 2024 to qualify for the early bird rates! For more information and to secure your place: https://bit.ly/pohlc24

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6.    Free Lunch and Learn Webinars

The London Centre for Work and Health (www.lcwh.org) is a cross-institutional partnership involving clinical and academic researchers from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College London, King’s College London, Queen Mary (University of London), University College London, University of Southampton, Affinity Health at Work and other external partners. The centre runs regular virtual Lunch and Learn webinar sessions which are open to all. Previous recordings are available to view at https://www.lcwh.org/education-training-support

Upcoming sessions include:

Date: 18 July 2024, 12.30-13.15

Topic: What influences the timing of middle-aged people retirement following the first UK national lockdown? Results from a qualitative study.

Presenter Ms Stefania D’Angelo (PhD candidate, University of Southampton)

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Join the meeting now


Date: 10 September 2024, 12.30-13.15

Topic: Working the night shift and living with type 2 diabetes - summary results from the Shift Diabetes Study

Presenter: Dr Rachel Gibson (Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics from King’s College London)

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Join the meeting now


Date: 23 October 2024, 12.30-13.15

Topic: Occupational Health Research in Pakistan

Presenter: Dr Asaad Nafees (Associate Professor) from the Aga Khan University

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Join the meeting now


Date: 26 November 2024, 12.30-13.15

Topic: The lived experience of presenteeism in employees with long-term health conditions: A qualitative investigation into the decision to work whilst ill and its consequences.

Presenter: Hannah McAleavey (PhD candidate from University of Liverpool and intern consultant from Affinity Health at Work)  

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Join the meeting now

7.    Welcome Lindsey!

We are delighted to announce that Lindsey Macleod has succeeded Nadine Williams as the Network Board representative for the south east coast region. Lindsey is the Occupational Health Manager at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust. Welcome Lindsey! You can see our list of regional Board members here.

8.    Health and Safety Competencies for NHS Managers

Health and safety competencies for NHS managers have been updated and is available at: https://www.nhsemployers.org/publications/health-and-safety-competencies-nhs-managers

9.    MoHaWK: Round 25 is on the Way!

Round 24 closes on 30th June and then Round 25 opens on 1st July 2024 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 and allows greater flexibility for when you can submit data.

For those of you who have renewed your NHS Network Membership to include the MoHaWK package and need further guidance, here are the briefing notes for Round 25. If you have any specific queries, please contact hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk

10. Courses, Resources and News

Thank you to all Members who contributed their views to help shape the Network's response to the Government's consultation on the fit note. We are compiling our response, and will publish this in the August bulletin. 

The control of diesel engine exhaust emissions in the workplace guidance (HSG187) and vehicle exhaust fumes guidance provides practical advice to employers and self-employed people on how to control exposure to DEEEs in the workplace, and so protect the health of employees and others who may be exposed. This guidance does not advise allowing engines to idle for extended periods of time and may be relevant to the build-up of exhaust fumes relating to ambulances outside hospitals.


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

The NHS Health at Work Network does not, directly, or indirectly, endorse any product or service that is, or will, be provided by any of our Supporters. Organisations which become NHS Health at Work Network Supporters will not, in any way, state or imply that the NHS Health at Work Network endorses any such product or service that they provide. 

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