Welcome to our October Bulletin

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Dear Colleagues

It was so good to see many of you at the Annual Conference this month. In one sense it felt  great to be ‘amongst people’ again but it did come with a degree of apprehension as some ‘normality’ was gained.  I hope for those who joined us, you felt it was worthwhile and energised you for the future! For those who were unable to join us, the presentations are on the website (see item 1) and well worth reviewing as there are some great elements of knowledge and practice sharing which you might find helpful.  Please do make sure you feedback any ideas for future events. 

It was really good to hear directly from NHSE/I at the conference about the ‘Growing Occupational Health’ programme - this is a really exciting times for us in NHS OH!  If you need to get up to speed on this project then do please review the content of the website and complete the survey to ‘have your say’  Growing OH - NHS Health at Work Network

As part of this programme, there are some great leadership training opportunities – do look out for these being advertised in the next few weeks. 

I am sure many of you are already involved in the annual ‘flu programme and COVID boosters, and this will be adding significantly to your work demand.  Through these programmes of work, the importance of OH teams and protecting staff and patients remains high on the agenda – it’s worth taking a look at the consultation on mandatory vaccination (item 3) and taking the opportunity to express your view.  

Best wishes

Hilary Winch

Chair, NHS Health at Work Network


In this edition:

  1. NHS Health at Work Network Conference Presentations
  2. Growing NHS OH Update
  3. Covid-19 and ‘Flu Vaccine Consultation
  4. NICE Update: Mental Wellbeing at Work; Workplace Health Quality Standard
  5. East of England Region Network Board Vacancy
  6. MoHaWK Update
  7. Ask-A-Question
  8. National School of OH Annual Conference: 5 November 2021
  9. Membership Discount £200 + VAT: Practical OH Law Certificate
  10. Useful Resources


1.    NHS Health at Work Network Conference Presentations

We had a fantastic NHS Network annual conference on the 14 and 15 September.  100% of respondents to our survey were very satisfied of satisfied with the event, and 100% said that would recommend it to a colleague!

The full range of presentations are available on our website

2.    Growing NHS OH Update

The NHS Growing OH programme continues at pace.  In summary, NHS England and Improvement’s plans for the months ahead are:


  • Using this month to consolidate findings from the engagement events, and reshape the Growing OH vision/drivers as necessary
  • Finalising leadership development opportunities


  • Releasing the revised growing OH vision and drivers based on engagement activity
  • Launching leadership development offers to OH people and inviting applications (with three different offers spanning new leaders to strategic OH leaders, and programmes starting in December/January time)
  • Beginning work on the large ‘gap analysis’ into the strategic improvement drivers to make recommendations around a long term strategy (i.e. lots of evidence review, stakeholder engagement, shaping and co-design etc. for each of the 10 improvement areas)
  • Beginning work with the 4 pilot systems and their service improvement initiatives for OH to learn from them

October – March 2022

  • Progressing all the above to inform a long term strategy/investment needs for growing OH over five years, through development of output reports and service blueprints

3.    Covid-19 and ‘Flu Vaccine Consultation

The government has issued an open consultation on the mandatory vaccination of all staff in the health and wider social care sector. The consultation is now open and closes on 22nd October 2021.

The link to this can be found here:  Making vaccination a condition of deployment in the health and wider social care sector - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

All responses should please be sent in accordance with instructions given on the government website.

4.    NICE Update 

Draft Guideline on Mental Wellbeing at Work

This draft guideline and its supporting evidence are now out for consultation.  Organisations are encouraged to submit comments on the draft guideline. The consultation page has all the information and documents you need to comment.

The developer has produced an economic model to support the guideline. An executable version of this model is available on request, and will be released on receipt of a completed confidentiality form

The consultation will close at 5pm on Friday, 29th October 2021. We expect the guideline to be published on 2nd March 2021.

NICE Workplace Health Quality Standard

The NICE Workplace health quality standard has now been published.  This quality standard covers how to help people return to work after long-term sickness absence, reduce recurring sickness absence, and help prevent people moving from short-term to long-term sickness absence. It covers everyone aged over 16 in full-time or part-time employment (paid or unpaid). It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

5.    East of England Region Network Board Vacancy

We are inviting applications for a new Network Board representative for the East of England region.  Applicants will need to be employed at an OH Service which is a Full Network Member.  You would be expected to provide a communication link with members in your region and to represent their views at the 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 29th. October.  To find out more, or for an informal discussion, please contact admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk

6.    MoHaWK – Round 19 Remains Open 

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 and of course now ‘flu.  This process allows greater flexibility for submitting your data.

Please find enclosed the briefing notes for Round 19 attached to this message, which are also located on the MoHaWK website.

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

7.    Ask-A-Question

A reminder that members can ‘ask-a-question’ of the rest of our OH community.  In the last month we had questions posed around subjects such as OH mental health support roles; OH clearance for volunteers; pregnant staff and Covid-19; counselling services for staff; and GP-type OH support.  Members can view all the responses on our website.

8.    National School of OH Conference: 5 November 2021

The National School of Occupational Health are running their virtual annual conference on 5 November 2021.  Key speakers include Dr. Anne de Bono and Dr. Steve Nimmo.  Find out more, and how to book, here

9.    Membership Discount £200 + VAT: Practical OH Law Certificate

The At Work Partnership is delighted to offer NHS Health at Work Network members a discount of £200 + VAT for places on our Practical OH Law Certificate.  This practical three-day qualification is running as a virtual course from 7 – 9 December 2021, and is designed to provide occupational health professionals with an in-depth understanding of occupational health law at work.  Book and pay by 20 October 2021 to qualify for the early bird rates. 

More information is available from: https://www.atworkpartnership.co.uk/conference/practical-oh-law-certificate-2021

10. Useful Resources

The Society of Occupational Medicine have launched a series of new factsheets webpage, addressing a number of topics to support employers, local authorities and regional governments, and health and social care workers to maintain and improve good health and work outcomes in their communities during the pandemic and its aftermath. Download the factsheets below:


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published the first global standard for psychological health and safety in the workplace. ISO 45003, which is intended for use alongside the OH and safety management systems standard ISO 45001, provides guidance to employers on managing mental health at work and covers areas such as communication, workplace culture, leadership and addressing work pressure.  Read more here 

The HSE has published online guidance for employers to manage the health and safety risks to workers who drive or ride a motor vehicle for work. ‘Health and safety law applies to work activities on the road in the same way as it does on a fixed site,’ it notes. Read more here

The HSE working at height website shows what employers should do to protect employees. It includes a helpful step-by-step guide on how to assess the risks and prevent falls.  You can find advice on how employers can comply with the Working at Height Regulations 2005 by either buying or downloading Working at height: A brief guide.



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