Welcome to our May 2021 Bulletin

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Dear Colleagues

Nationally, over this last month, we have taken further steps in the roadmap out of lockdown. I hope you have had chance to safely undertake some of the additional social activities - re-connect with some friends, maybe visit the pub outdoors and of course the all-important hair cut! 

From a work perspective, as a provider of NHS OH services, there are lots of adjustments to consider as we adapt to the ‘new normal’ of work patterns and commence some of the ‘catch up’ work. I hope you see this next phase as an opportunity and review the way you deliver services more effectively. It’s great to see that the NHS has recognised the role that OH has in our organisations – please do see the article in the bulletin on the NHS planning and priority guidance and make sure you are equipping yourself for what lies ahead! 

For those who have not yet signed up for your 2021/22 Network membership, do take advantage of the ‘extended’ early bird offer – make sure you sign up by the end of May to qualify. It is going to be a developing year for Occupational Health and being part of the Network will assist in supporting you through the changes ahead. 

Best wishes

Hilary Winch

Chair, NHS Health at Work Network


In this edition:

1. Network Membership 2021-22: Renew Now

2. NMC Consultation on Draft Post-Reg Standards for OH

3. NHS Planning and Priorities Guidance

4. All Change – The New Integrated Care System

5. Covid-19 Return to Work Guidelines

6. NICE Guideline on Weight Management

7. HSE Noise Exposure Calculator

8. Occupational Hygiene in Healthcare Settings

9. MoHaWK

The next edition of the newsletter will be published week commencing 24 May 2021.

1.    Network Membership 2021-22: Renew Now!

Thank you to all of our Members and Associates for your continued membership and support of the NHS Health at Work Network throughout 2020.  We launched our membership renewals for 2021-22 in our last newsletter and have had a fantastic response!  

We know how busy you have all been with the unprecedented demands on your time, so we have extended the early-bird offer until the end of May. If you haven’t yet renewed, please make sure you do so before the end of May to take advantage of our early-bird offer!

The normal cost of renewing for 2021/22 for our all-inclusive top membership package is £995 but we are offering an early bird rate of £795 if you complete and return the attached renewal form to admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk by 30th April 2021. This will provide membership for all of your OH team until April 2021.  There are also a range of other flexible membership packages to suit your budget which you can see here.

Please complete the form and return to admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk

2.    NMC Consultation on Draft Post-Registration Standards for Community & Public Health Nurses, including OH

The NMC has launched their consultation building on ambitions for community and public health nursing. This looks at the new draft post-registration standards for the next generation of community and public health nurses working in health and social care, including schools and workplaces. These draft standards, which have been coproduced with subject experts, will provide the right proficiencies these professionals need to support and care for people in a rapidly changing world. 

You can find out more about the consultation on the NMC website. You can download the draft standards and all the supporting information. And when you’re ready to respond, you can head to the online survey.  The consultation will run until Monday 2 August 2021.  

3.    NHS Planning and Priorities Guidance

The NHS have released its planning and priorities guidance for 2021/22 and Occupational Health features prominently.  This is an important document for all OH managers to be aware of and to be incorporate within your local plans.  You can see the guidance here

4.    All Change!

From April 1st 2021, every area of the country is now operating as an integrated care system (ICS), achieving a major milestone in the NHS Long Term Plan.

A total of 42 ICSs, which bring together hospital, community and mental health trusts, GPs and other primary care services with local authorities, other care providers and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) now cover the whole of England, to provide better joined up health and care for patients.

5.    Return to Work Guidelines

The University of Glasgow and The Society of Occupational Medicine have launched COVID-19 return to work guidelines which, for the first time, take account of community prevalence, vaccination status and previous COVID-19 infection in the risk assessment.

There are multiple factors to consider in the COVID-19 return to work risk assessment. These include community infection levels, individual vulnerability, workplace / commute transmission risk, workers' concerns / expectations and more recently, vaccination and previous COVID-19 infection.  

In this rapid guide, the authors describe these factors and present a simple stepwise approach to inform decisions and facilitate safe return to work. 

The guidelines are intended for workers, employers and health practitioners. Unfortunately, only 50% of UK workers have access to occupational health, so for many workers their risk assessment will have to be done by their GP, employer or themselves and the guidance will help all parties understand their risks and the appropriate work-related control measures.

The guidance is available here

6.    NICE Guideline on Weight Management

The draft scope for this NICE guideline is now out for consultation.  The consultation page contains the documents, background papers and instructions on how to comment.  Visit the NICE website to view the guideline.

The consultation on this draft scope will close at 5:00pm on 7th May 2021.

7.    HSE Noise Exposure Calculator

HSE’s Noise exposure calculator helps you to estimate and record workers’ exposures to noise and compare them with the exposure action and limit values in the regulations as part of a noise risk assessment.

It combines the previous daily exposure calculator and weekly exposure calculator in one calculator with separate tabs to help simplify the process. More importantly, advice on actions that should be taken when certain action values are exceeded is also provided.

The calculator contains a new exposure limit value calculator to take into account the attenuation provided by the hearing protection worn when compared with the exposure limit value. Advice is also given in terms of the suitability of hearing protector provided in relation to attenuation.

The revised calculator can be seen on the HSE site.

8.    Occupational Hygiene in Healthcare Settings

Find attached a BOHS Information Paper on Occupational Hygiene in Healthcare settings. 

The pandemic has highlighted an absence of occupational hygiene expertise within Healthcare, and this paper seeks to educate in the added value that experts in occupational hygiene can bring to the management of health risks within these workplaces.

9.    MoHaWK

Don’t forget if you want to ensure your continued access to MoHaWK, please renew your Network Membership and select membership level 2A or 3 which both give you another year of MoHaWK (see news item 1 above).  This is a significant benefit compared to the routine cost of a yearly licence.

Round 18 will remain open until Round 19 commences so that your Service can maximise the time period to enter data.  We have added in the ability to record worker experience feedback from video consultations in addition to the face-to-face and telephone-based experience sections already in the tool as many Services have started to use this form of assessment during the pandemic.

I have attached the briefing note for reference on the subject areas. Please do get in contact if you have any queries hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk                       


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