Welcome to our May 2024 Bulletin

/Board Members 2022/543A8566

Dear Colleagues

Spring has sprung – although it still feels very chilly! As April draws to a close, I hope you managed to enjoy some rest over the Easter weekend and no doubt looking forward to May with lots of Bank Holidays!

Once again, this month’s bulletin is packed full of great information, so please take the time to look through to support your own learning and sharing. I want to really highlight to you item 1 – the new NHS Network Recognition awards. Please don’t be shy and consider areas of work you have undertaken which you could showcase so learning can be gained across our Network. I am looking forward to being part of the judging panel and seeing what great initiatives are occurring across the country. I am also looking forward to being at the awards celebration event as part of our annual conference in September. Speaking of the conference, make sure you have the dates in your diary 11/12th September. The final elements of the programme are being put together and I am very excited on how this year is shaping up – you really don’t want to miss out! 

In May we have our quarterly board meeting so if you have any queries please do feed these through your regional representative so these can be shared with the Board. 

Best wishes

Hilary Winch

Chair, NHS Health at Work Network


In this edition:

1. NHS Network Recognition Awards – Applications Now Open

2. Discounted Training for Network Members

3. OH Mentoring Scheme Launched

4. Fit Note Reform

5. UKAP OH Register Decomissioned

6. Violence and Aggression at Work

7. West Midlands Network Board Rep

8. South East Coast Region NHS Network Board Rep Vacancy

9. New Statutory Code on Flexible Working Requests

10. Courses and Resources

1.    NHS Network Recognition Awards – Applications Now Open!

Are you ready to recognise the projects and initiatives you are delivering in occupational health and wellbeing? Do you want to showcase and celebrate the people who are making all the difference in your team?

We are delighted to invite you to apply for the new Network Recognition Awards for 2024! Exclusively for NHS Health at Work Network members and free to enter, our Awards will celebrate and showcase the impactful projects and initiatives being delivered in the occupational health and wellbeing sector.

The first stage is the completion of a short application form. If you are shortlisted you will then be asked to give a 10 minute virtual presentation to our judging panel. Applicants will find out if they have been successful at our Annual Conference Network Dinner on 11 September 2024 and winners will be profiled on our website and will receive a complimentary 24-hour Conference place to our 2025 Network Conference.

Applications close on 21 June 2024.

Email: admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk to access your Recognition Awards application form. We wish you the best of luck! 

2.    Discounted Training for Network Members

The NHS Health at Work Network is delighted to team up with EOPH to offer discounts to their range of training events.

All courses are virtual. If interested and for further information, delegates will need to email admin@eoph.co.ukfrom their NHS account and mention in the email that they wish to claim the NHS Network discount. The next courses are:

8th May - Advanced Communication Skills for Complex Case Practitioners, £125 + VAT 09.30 - 16.30 (£99 + VAT for NHS Staff). Contact admin@eoph.co.uk for more information and to book. A one-day, virtual course, suitable for occupational health professionals who are experienced in the speciality and would like to explore a range of communication tools to use in complex case consultations. The course will focus on transactional analysis and clean language which can both be invaluable in case management.

26th June - When Working Skin Stops Working £295 + VAT (£250 + VAT for NHS staff), 09.00 - 16.30. Contact admin@eoph.co.uk for more information and to book.

This one-day virtual, immersive style course will facilitate your development of knowledge, understanding and clinical skills in the general management of work-related skin problems.

Increase your confidence in undertaking skin surveillance and advising on relevant workplace adjustments.

Keep your eye on the bulletin for more courses later in the summer.

3.    OH Mentoring Scheme Launched

The Society of Occupational Medicine and the National School of Occupational Health have commenced a mentoring scheme, for those within the multidisciplinary team, looking to make a move into OH. A mentee will receive up to 4 mentoring sessions with a mentor and be signposted to resources that can support their learning and understanding of OH.

This will help to improve the quality of applications and support those deciding on an OH career to ensure it is the right decision for them and have at least some understanding of the speciality. More information and sign-up here.

4.    Fit Note Reform

The Government has announced a call for evidence to explore reforms around the fit note process to support those with long term health conditions to access timely work and health support.  This call for evidence is part of a wider suite of activity to reform the fit note and will act as a prelude to a full Consultation on specific policy proposals which will be launched later this year. 

5.    UKAP OH Register Decommissioned

Due to the limited utility of UKAP Occupational Health Register (OHR) in informing public health decision making, and the lack of public health action required to be taken from the system, the UKHSA has decided to cease the OHR. The UKAP secretariat is currently auditing HCWs' follow-up results submitted to UKAP-OHR for tests due on or before 31st December 2023. Please submit any outstanding follow-up results for this period to facilitate completion of the audit. The deadline for these data is the 30th April 2024.

Actions for OH departments:

  • OH departments are no longer required to register HCWs living with either HBV or HIV to the OHR. Test results or new registrations after 31st December 2023 do not need to be reported and will not be reported.
  • OH departments remain responsible for ensuring that HCWs comply with clearance and monitoring. This will require OH departments to ensure that robust systems are in place to review ongoing monitoring.
  • To maintain public health assurance, OH departments are still expected to seek advice from Health Protection Teams and/or the UKAP secretariat for any queries related to clearance and monitoring.
  • Where there are any concerns around breaches in guidance OH departments will still be able to contact the UKAP panel and HPTs for advice on risk assessments and required actions, as they currently do.

The Integrated Guidance, the Quick Reference Guide (QRG), and the UKAP web pages have been updated to reflect these changes. The revised versions are available on the GOV.UK web pages.

6.    Violence and Aggression at Work

Violence and aggression at work can have a serious impact on your workers physical and mental health. The HSE's guidance on violence at work will help you protect your workers. 

The guidance will help you:

  • assess the risks
  • put the right controls in place to protect workers
  • report and learn from incidents 

The HSE also has specific guidance on how to support your workers after a violent incident. There are also examples drawn from typical situations. In addition, there is separate advice for workers, which explains how they can help employers prevent violent incidents at work. Those who work alone can be particularly vulnerable and the HSE has specific advice on how employers should protect lone workers from violence.

7.    West Midlands Network Board Rep

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Aaliya Goyal as the Network Board representative for the West Midlands region. Aaliya is an Occupational Health doctor with experience of working in several NHS Trusts across the Midlands. She is also a GP, holding national and regional roles with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) as a Nationally Elected RCGP Council Member, College Representative for Occupational Medicine, and Vice Chair of RCGP Midland Faculty. She has previously worked as a Clinical Leadership Executive in an NHS Integrated Care Board which developed her expertise in health inequalities, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and wider determinants of health on the experience of NHS colleagues in the workplace. Welcome Aaliya.

You can see all our Board members, and their contact details, here.

8.    South East Coast Region NHS Network Board Rep Vacancy

We have a vacancy on our Network Board for the South East Coast region to replace Nadine Williams after her three years in the role. Applications are invited from Network Member colleagues working in this region, to join our Board. For an informal discussion and/or an application form, contact Andrew Gilbey, General Manager at

admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk and submit your application by no later than Friday 24 May. 

9.    New Statutory Code on Flexible Working Requests

ACAS, the arbitration and conciliation service, has published a new statutory code of practice on requests for flexible working. It takes account of changes in law, including a right to request flexible working from day one of employment, rather than from 26 weeks of continuous service as was previously the case.

10. Courses and Resources

The NHS 2024/25 priorities and operational planning guidance have been published. Improving staff experience, retention and attendance is one of the six key priorities, and Growing Occupational Health and Wellbeing is referenced on page 29.

Book your place on the National School of Occupational Health’s 2024 Annual Virtual Conference which visits the world of digital within OH. The topics include telemedicine, digital in OH practice, automated MSK triage and advice, implications of new technologies, digital security within OH commercial providers, AI, and VR in OH Education and other exciting topics. To book your place Please click here. Please note to book your place, you will need to create an account with Accent Course Manager -https://accent.hicom.co.uk/coursemanager/live/hee/web. If you have any problems booking, please email england.NationalSchoolOccHealth@nhs.net

EOPH’s next free webinar is presented by Mark Landon, employment law specialist and the title is: ‘Dealing effectively with misconduct or poor performance arising from an underlying disability’ being held of 30th May 2024, 4-5pm UK Time. There have been several recent cases where an underlying disability was at least in part the cause of misconduct or poor performance but was either overlooked or given insufficient weight by management. The subsequent Employment Tribunal cases were critical of the employers involved and provided helpful guidance as to how cases should be handled. In this webinar we shall review the legal and practical lessons learned from those cases.  

Registration link is here:


SOM invited Dr Bethany Hughes and Dr Peter Allmark to present their research on mesothelioma incidence in school and hospital workers in a webinar - attached recording. This on the SOM web site and on LinkedIn. It is an open access document. 


Sick people leaving workforce at record highs, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-68639144


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