Read about the Growing Occupational Health and Wellbeing Strategy launch on 20 June, the new Diploma in Occupational Health Practice for nurses, and much more!
As we head into March, I really want to bring to your attention the importance of signing up to the Network for the coming year. Please do get in touch with the admin team so that you can take advantage of the ‘early bird’ offer and receive the fantastic benefits that are associated with membership.
New dates have been released for the Growing OH Leadership Programme. It’s worth ‘taking a look’ if life was just too hectic when these were first released so that NHS OH&WB colleagues can take up this fabulous fully-funded training opportunity provided by NHS England and Improvement.
Whilst writing this section for the bulletin, I am waiting for the government to share the updated information on ‘Living with COVID’. I am sure this will impact OH teams again as we try to establish what this means for NHS staff, but I hope that eventually some areas of COVID work will calm slightly for our teams and we can pick up again on all our other key and important areas of OH work.
Chair, NHS Health at Work Network
In this edition:
- 2022/23 NHS Network Membership – Renew Now!
- Funded OH Leadership Courses for NHS Colleagues – Still Open!
- Guidelines for Supporting NHS Staff Affected by Covid
- Follow Us: NHS Network Social Media Launch
- Covid-19 Advice for Pregnant Workers
- HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
- Useful Resources
1. 2022/23 NHS Network Membership – Renew Now!
Over 90% of NHS occupational health teams in England subscribed to our Network in 2021/22, and renewals for 2022/23 have got off to a flying start!
Check out the fantastic range of membership packages and contact email@example.com to renew for 2022/23. Full membership is the only way to guarantee your place at our highly acclaimed annual conference in September 2022.
Renew now to take advantage of our early-bird offer!
2. Funded OH Leadership Programmes for NHS Colleagues – Still Open!
The Growing OH Team are pleased to announce a range of funded development opportunities for our NHS OH leaders and practitioners.
It is not too late to apply, but you’ll have to be quick! All dates for these fully-funded leadership courses have been rescheduled to start in the new financial year – details of the revised dates can be found in the attached “Detailed applicant programme info sheet”.
Please note that colleagues who have already applied for courses will be able to transfer to their preferred revised date.
The UK Government is expected to revoke legislation requiring all health and social care staff to be double-vaccinated against COVID-19, before they were due to come into force on 1 April 2022. Similar legislation already in place for care homes, is also expected to be revoked.
4. Guidelines for Supporting NHS Staff Affected by Long Covid
These guidelines were developed by the Health and Wellbeing Team at NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from a Task and Finish Group comprising members of other national organisations such as the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Health Education England (HEE) and NHS Employers, as well as internal colleagues from relevant teams and regional roles. The membership also included NHS colleagues with lived experience of Long COVID who were willing to share their experience of seeking support. The information contained in these guidelines is correct as of 31 January 2022.
5. Follow Us: NHS Network Social Media Launch
We are delighted to have our new social media pages up and running. You can now keep up-to-date on all of our latest news and updates around occupational health on both Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to follow us at the links below!
6. MoHaWK – Round 20 is Open
NHS Health at Work Network services signing up for membership package 2B or 3 receive a MoHaWK licence as part of that package (normal licence cost is £475 + VAT), so this is a great way of accessing the system at a considerably reduced rate – a fantastic benefit to your quality improvement journey.
Round 20 opened at the start of January and will remain open until the commencement of the following round as this appears to have worked well for many services who are still balancing work demands. This process allows greater flexibility of when you submit data.
Please find enclosed the briefing notes for Round 20 attached to this message.
If you have any specific queries then do make contact via firstname.lastname@example.org .
7. AGM and Network Board Update
Our NHS Health at Work Network Chair and Deputy, Hilary Winch and Giles, updated members on progress over the last year, and our exciting plans for the future in our Annual General Meeting held last month. If you weren’t able to attend, members can access the presentation here.
Our NHS Health at Work Network Board also met in January, and the key messages from that Board meeting are available here.
8. Covid-19 Advice for Pregnant Workers
The government has updated the Covid-19 advice for pregnant employees. This latest advice is available on their website.
9. HIV Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
In 2022 NHS England are moving to routine commissioning of standard 30-day HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) packs. The reasons for this change include:
- Evidence demonstrates that PEP completion rates are lower when using starter packs
- The procurement process of 30-day packs is more streamlined so will result in cost savings for the NHS.
- The recommended first line regimen is now emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil plus raltegravir 1200 mg once daily. However, due to lack of stability data, raltegravir 600mg tablets should not be pre-packed outside their original packaging.
All individuals who require PEP should be given a 30-day PEP pack. If at the time of follow-up, the decision is made to discontinue PEP then the remaining drugs can be returned to any pharmacy for safe disposal. Expected deadlines for transition to the new 30-day packs are:
- Level 3 Sexual Health Services – end of March 2022
- Occupational Health and Sexual Assault and Referral Centres – end of April 2022
- Emergency Departments – end of July 2022
Services should ensure all existing PEP starter packs are used during the transition process. Thereafter, 30-day PEP packs will be provided and services will be reimbursed by NHS England. Further details about the transition and how to order the new packs are covered in the FAQs.
The move to 30-day packs must not be at the cost of recommended follow-up including review of baseline blood results, adherence and side effects, repeat risk assessment, STI and blood-borne virus testing, any necessary psychosocial input and transition to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis where necessary.
10. Useful Resources
NHS England and Improvement invite you to join them in their Wellbeing Guardians: Look Back, Look Forward event being held via Teams on Wednesday 30 March from 13.00 – 15.00. More information and how to book available here.
The Institute for Employment Studies have published their February 2022 Labour Market Statistics. The report has a number of findings, including:
- new data today on employment for disabled people suggests that the employment ‘gap’ between disabled people and non-disabled people is widening, as unsurprisingly is the gap for people aged over 50.
- significant rises in people out of work due to long-term ill health
- the growth in worklessness due to ill health is very concerning and likely mainly reflects more people with (pre-existing) health conditions leaving the labour market, for example because of concerns around exposure to the virus or due to a deterioration in their health condition, and/ or fewer people with health conditions entering work than would have been the case pre-pandemic.
- we also continue to see vacancies above pre-crisis levels in every single industrial category, with social case leading the way
- employers have a key part to play in helping to solve these problems – through better job design (particularly around shift working), improved induction and training, and workplace support with health, caring and wider needs
The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges have published ‘Multi-Professional Team Working – The Experience and Lessons from Covid-19’. This is likely to be of interest to all multi-disciplinary teams, including some helpful principles contained in pages 42 to 43.
The Office for National Statistics website provides a live roundup of the latest data and trends around COVID-19 from a variety of sources.
The Royal Society for Public Health is producing a resource for Allied Health Professionals, showcasing their role in supporting people’s health in work, and exploring barriers they face to doing so, and any opportunities for their skills to be applied further to the ‘health and work’ agenda. They would love your help in shaping the resource. You can do so in one or two ways:
1. By filling out this survey - open to any Allied Health Professional working anywhere in the UK and supporting people of working age, children and/or young people (deadline 21 March)
2. By submitting a case study - if you are an AHP who has been involved with a service or project which does one of the below:
- Supports children and young people’s educational outcomes or ability to access work
- Supports people out of work to enter employment
- Supports people with health conditions or disabilities to stay at, return to and remain in work
- Minimises the health-risks of work
- Workplace health promotion
Lungs At Work runs a busy clinical service, and an active research programme, in occupational lung disease. Their training programme aims to share what they have learned, and is designed to provide up-to-date, carefully tailored and evidence-informed education to help patients and clinicians everywhere. Their latest newsletter is available here.
20% discount for NHS Health at Work Network Members: EOPH Ltd is pleased to announce our 2022-23 course schedule for occupational health professionals. Dates are now available to book the popular ‘Honing Report Writing Skills’ workshop, ‘Employment Law and Ethics for Workplace Health Professionals’ and ‘Upper Limb and Ergonomic Adjustments’ workshops. See our Eventbrite page for full details and dates. To claim your discount, please email email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Andrew Gilbey, General Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal address: NHS Health at Work, PO Box 857, York YO31 6FR