June 2021 Bulletin

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Dear Colleagues

Last month, the Network had its first Board meeting since last September due to the pandemic. It was great for me to meet with Board members and we had some good discussions around future priorities.  Please do read the summary notes and make contact with your region’s Board member if you have anything to add.  We really want to hear the views of all Network members. You will see from the bulletin that there have been some changes on the Board and some future opportunities arising as well so please make yourselves known to your local rep!

We have started the planning for our annual conference in September – please put the dates in your diary.  We are very much hoping that we will be able to meet each other physically on this occasion.  It is definitely an event that you will want to attend.  With the conference in mind, the only way to guarantee your place is by ensuring your Service are signed up as Network members for the coming year. 

Best wishes

Hilary Winch

Chair, NHS Health at Work Network


In this edition:

  1. NHS Wellbeing Guardians and Workplace Allies
  2. Network Board Update
  3. Network Annual Conference – 14th & 15th September 2021
  4. MoHaWK
  5. Compulsory Covid Vaccination for Care Home Staff?
  6. The New Health and Care Bill
  7. HSE Covid Return to Work Guidance
  8. North West Network Board Vacancy
  9. Discounted Training for Network Members with EOPH
  10. NICE Workplace Health Quality Standard
  11. Useful Resources, Articles and Research

1.    NHS Wellbeing Guardians and Healthy Workplace Allies

All NHS organisations are being encouraged to appoint Wellbeing Guardians to their Board in support of the NHS priority to protect and enhance the health and wellbeing of the workforce.  Healthy Workplace Allies to check-in with colleagues as part of the informal support structures are also being introduced.  Read more about the roles here

2.    Network Board Update

The NHS Health at Work Network met on 11 May.  A summary of the meeting is available here. A warm welcome too is extended to our latest Board representatives, Dr. Finola Ryan representing the London region, and Nadine Williams for the South East Coast.  The Board thanked the outgoing representatives Dr. Sonal Mehta and Helen Parsons for all their work.

3.    Network Annual Conference – 14th & 15th September, 2021

A date for your diaries – the 14th and 15th September will see our planned face-to-face Annual Conference at the Chesford Grange Centre in Warwickshire.  For all those Trusts which have renewed their Network membership to include a conference place, we will be writing to you in June with more detail.  If you haven’t already done so, the only way to guarantee your conference place is via renewing your Network Membership.

4.    MoHaWK – Round 19 is on its way! 

Round 18 will be closed on 30th June and then Round 19 opens on 1st July 2021 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 of when you submit data.

Please find enclosed the briefing notes for Round 19 attached to this message.

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

5.    Compulsory Covid Vaccination for Care Home Staff?

In the context of around 20% of staff working in adult care homes in England still to receive their first Covid vaccine by early May, the Government has recently consulted on whether vaccination should be a condition of employment.  Watch this space for further announcements.

6.    The New Health and Care Bill

The Government confirmed plans for a new health and care bill in the recent Queen’s Speech, which would establish integrated care systems (ICSs) on a statutory footing. They also pledge measures in the bill to encourage innovation, enable more preventive and personalised care, and to bring forward social care reform. The King’s Fund think tank called these proposals a “welcome step towards delivering integrated care centred around the needs of patients” and the NHS Confederation noted that complex health and care challenges will require “even closer collaboration and integration over the months and years to come”.

7.    HSE Covid Return to Work Guidance

The HSE has published guidance on returning to work which can help employers talk to their workers and provide the right support.

As lockdown eases, HSE is continuing to carry out spot checks and inspections on businesses in all areas to check they have COVID-secure measures in place.

Being COVID-secure means being adaptable to the current guidance and putting measures in place to manage the risk of coronavirus and making sure workers are following them.

During the spot checks and inspections, HSE will provide guidance where required but, where businesses are not managing the risk, they state immediate action will be taken

8.    Join the Network Board!

After almost 6 years in the role, Dr. Donald Menzies tenure as North West Board representative will conclude later this year, and so we are looking for his replacement to commence after our September conference.

If you are interested in applying you will need to be at an OH Service which is a Network Member.  You will be expected to provide a communication link with members in the North West region so that you are able to represent their views at Board meetings. The Board meets 3 times a year (twice via Zoom and once at the time of our annual conference).  Board Members get a free conference place.

More information and the application form are available here. The deadline for applications is Friday 2nd. July.  To find out more, or for an informal discussion, please contact admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk

9.    Network Member Benefit: Discounted Training Courses

The Network has teamed up with EOPH which provides a range of accredited learning and development training events and workshops for occupational health members.  When booking, let them know you are member of the Network to receive a 20% discount off the standard course price. 

10. NICE Workplace Health Quality Standard

The public registration facility to observe the committee meeting for the Workplace health quality standard (QS 2021) is now open on the NICE website.  If you would like to register for this committee meeting, please do so via the following web page. Registration for this meeting will close at 4pm on Thursday 27 June 2021. As a public observer, you will be able to listen to the business of the meeting, except where confidential information is being discussed.

11. Useful Resources, Articles and Research

Long-Covid article: Classifying Long-Covid as an occupational disease


Long-working hours killing 745,000 a year



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, Network Manager                       admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk  

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