Welcome to our September Bulletin

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Dear Colleagues

September is just around the corner and this means that we are heading into the Autumn season.  I hope you have had chance for some personal R&R and maybe the odd bit of sunshine!  Autumn is always a very hectic time for OH Units in the NHS and I suspect this year will be even more so as we work with our organisations in delivering Flu and Covid boosters on top of the day-to-day work and other work generated by the COVID pandemic. 

Our annual conference programme will take place in just a few weeks and the programme is looking great!  Please see item 3 on this bulletin for more details and make sure you have secured your place.  We will ensure, along with the venue, that this event will consider COVID measures and we will be advising all delegates of suggested actions to ensure we all remain safe. 

In other news, I hope you all have had the opportunity to link into the NHS England & Improvement ‘Growing Occupational Health’ events.  If not please do at least review the content of the website and complete the survey to ‘have your say’ at GrowingOH - NHS Health at Work Network

I’m looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the conference. 

Best wishes

Hilary Winch

Chair, NHS Health at Work Network


In this edition:

  1. Growing OH
  2. Yorkshire & Humber Network Board Vacancy
  3. Network Annual Conference: 15 September
  4. MoHaWK
  5. Network Member Discount on CPD
  6. Good Ventilation Will Reduce Covid Transmission
  7. Webinar on Supporting Colleagues with Long-Covid
  8. MIND Coronavirus Survey – One Year On
  9. BOHS Update
  10. Latest Research and Publications

1.    Growing OH 

NHS England and Improvement have developed a discussion document with input from OH colleagues and experts, as a starting point in informing the case for future development and investment in OH. The discussion document was used at the engagement events with the OH community to explore and develop the Growing OH programme.  We will keep you updated on progress.

2.    Yorkshire & Humber Region Network Board Vacancy

After many years of service, Tracy Scott is stepping down as the Network Board representative for the Yorkshire & Humber region.  A big thank you to Tracy for her contribution over the years!

We are now inviting applications for a new representative for this 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 24th. September.  To find out more, or for an informal discussion, please contact admin@nhshealthatwork.co.uk

3.    NHS Health at Work Network Annual Conference – 15th September 2021

The 15th September will see our face-to-face Annual Conference at the Chesford Grange Centre in Warwickshire.  We are delighted to have secured Dr. Steve Boorman, Professor Diana Kloss, Dr. Robin Cordell, and John Drew and Steve Lee from NHS England and NHS Improvement as our key speakers, along with a range of inspiring other case study presentations from Suzanne Banks, Dr. Ali Hashtroudi and Dr. Mark Ferris.

For all those Trusts which have renewed their Network membership to include a conference place, if you haven’t yet had confirmation of your booked place from us, that means we haven’t received your booking form. If you are unsure or need a booking form, please contact anna@forumconferences.com    

Whilst the 24-hour delegate places have now all sold out, day delegate conference places are still available at £245, with discounts available for all Full and Associate Networks Members.  The last date for booking is Wednesday 1 September.  Please get in touch with anna@forumconferences.com if you’d like to book a place.

4.    MoHaWK

Round 19 opened 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 for submitting data.

Please find attached the briefing notes for Round 19 which are also available on the Mohawk website.  If you have any specific queries then do make contact via hilary.winch@nnuh.nhs.uk 

5.    Network Member Discount – 20% off CPD

EOPH are running a series of workshops and courses for OH professionals.  When booking your place let them know you are NHS Health at Work Network members to get 20% off!

6.    Good Ventilation Will Reduce Covid Transmission

The Health and Safety Executive’s updated guidance will help you identify poor ventilation in work areas and take practical steps to improve it. This can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in your workplace. The updated guidance includes information on:

  • identifying poorly ventilated areas and using CO2 monitors
  • improving natural ventilation
  • how to improve mechanical ventilation
  • air cleaning and filtration units
  • ventilation in work vehicles

7.    Webinar on Supporting Colleagues with Long Covid

NHS Employers hosted a webinar to explore what employers can do to support staff with Long Covid.  The webinar is available to view here

8.    MIND Coronavirus Survey – One Year On

Mind’s most recent survey results, published earlier this month, can be found here

Some key findings:

  • Two thirds (65%) of adults say their mental health have got worse since the first national lockdown, with nearly half (46%) of those adults saying that their mental health has got much worse since the beginning of the first national lockdown in March 2020 
  • More than a quarter (26%) of adults experienced mental distress for the first time during the pandemic
  • Over 1 in 5 (21%) adults did not access support because they did not think that their issue was serious enough. 9% of adults did not feel comfortable accessing mental health support 
  • 47% of adults think that their mental health will improve once restrictions ease. 1 in 5 (20%) adults do not think that their mental health will improve once restrictions ease 
  • Over half of adults and young people (55%) say that they are worried about seeing and being near other people once restrictions ease 
  • 44% of both adults and young people are worried about catching coronavirus once restrictions ease 
  • 23% of those working from home said it made their mental health worse vs 19% that said it made it better
  • 27% of those going into work in person said this made their mental health worse vs 10% that said it made it better.

9.    British Occupational Hygiene Society Update

The BOHS journal ‘Annals of Work Exposures and Health’ is planning to publish an edition dedicated to papers focused on ‘The Lasting Impacts of COVID-19’. Please see the link to access the call for papers. Deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday Sept 10th 2021.

The BOHS have also produced their Biological Monitoring Guide.  This guide is primarily intended to help employers and individuals with delegated responsibility for health and safety to set up and manage a biological monitoring programme. It may also be useful for occupational health professionals, safety representatives and individual employees. 

10. Latest Research and Publications

Hybrid and remote working in the North of England: Impact and future prospects

As the full scale and implications of the post-pandemic shift to hybrid working are becoming clearer, new joint research from the Work Foundation and Newcastle University Business School provides insight into the challenges and opportunities related to remote working for businesses and places in the North of England.

Key findings:

  • Pre-Covid-19, only 5.7% of workers worked exclusively remotely. This rose to 31.5% in 2021. Now, 85% of those who currently work remotely want to combine on-site and remote work.
  • Businesses face uncertainty over how the hybrid model will function in practice, with concerns over impacts on among others, company culture and worker wellbeing.
  • Anticipated changes in the use of office spaces may result in some shift in economic and labour activity, though these are likely to remain small.

Findings of this report highlight opportunities for employers and Government to support a transition to sustainable hybrid work over the long term.


Read the Work Foundation’s blog on ‘Mitigating wellbeing pressures in remote and hybrid working models’ here



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