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NHS Health at Work February e-bulletin

/Board members/Anne_de_BonoDear Colleagues

I hope 2017 has started well for you despite all the challenges facing the NHS and reflected in our own services. Occupational Health is well forward from the 'back room' in the clinical assessments, support and advice which we are providing for hard pressed NHS staff. 

This month's bulletin is full of useful information and links. I am particularly pleased to see the new GMC guidance on confidentiality which seems to have taken account of concerns raised by the OH community. 

Time for forward planning - membership renewal notices for 2016/17 are being sent out. Please renew early to gain all the benefits for your services including the early bird renewal rate. 

Best wishes
Anne de Bono

The next edition will be circulated on 1st March.

In this edition:
1. East of England Network Board representative
2. MoHaWK
3. Work Health and Disability Green Paper
4. Legal experience training for OH professionals
5. HSE Health and Work Strategy
6. GMC guidance on confidentiality
7. Network ‘ask a question’
8. Flu fighter update
9. NHS Employers update
10. February/March 2017 Research Plus

1. East of England Network Board representative

We are pleased to confirm that Sue Hillman, Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has been elected as the new Board member representing the East of England. We look forward to seeing Sue at the next Board meeting on 15th March. If you have any queries or comments on Network activity Sue can be contacted at

2. MoHaWK

Round 10

Round 10 is now closed, following an extended data input period. The next step is to pull your organisation reports and evaluate the results. Guidance is available here but it you need further assistance then please contact

Don't forget to register for the 2017 workshops

There is still time to register for our MoHaWK workshops, whether you are a current user who wants to make better use of the system or haven't yet used it but want to find out more. There is no cost to attend and the London workshop was highly evaluated by delegates.

The following dates are available:

  • St Helens and Knowsley Education Centre, Prescott - 23rd February
  • Central Bristol - 22nd March
  • Central Leeds - 5th April

If you would like to attend any of the above please complete the registration form and return to

3. Work Health and Disability Green Paper

Thank you to those members who submitted comments for the consultation on the Green Paper on ‘Work, Health and Disability: Improving Lives’. We will be developing a Network response to be submitted by the closing date of 17th February.

There is still an opportunity for you to comment as individuals or on behalf of your Trust and we would encourage all members to do so. Click here to complete the consultation template.

4. Legal Experience Training for OH professionals

Legal Experience Training offer 5% off their Essential Legal Skills for Occupational Health Professionals course fees for NHS Health At Work Network members, and their next course will run on the 6 and 7 March 2017 in London.

In addition, on booking places, one of two additional discounts is also currently available. Legal Experience Training are offering a 15% discount on course fees when booking and payment is made before the 6 February 2017, or 15% off for each delegate, when two colleagues book together.

More information and booking form is available here.

5. HSE Health and Work Strategy

HSE have recently published their Health and Work strategy, which focuses on work-related stress, musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders and occupational lung disease. Detailed plans have been developed for each of these key areas. More information is available here.

6. GMC guidance on confidentiality

The GMC have just published revised guidance ‘Confidentiality: good practice in handling patient information’, which will come into effect on 25th April 2017. This is a revision of the previous 2009 version and clarifies:

  • The public protection responsibilities of doctors, including when to make disclosures in the public interest.
  • The importance of sharing information for direct care, recognising the multi-disciplinary and multi-agency context doctors work in.
  • The circumstances in which doctors can rely on implied consent to share patient information for direct care.
  • The significant role that those close to a patient can play in providing support and care, and the importance of acknowledging that role.

7. Network ‘ask a question’

Thanks to everyone who responded to our questions this month on OH manager and OH physician job descriptions and student paramedic medicals. The answers to these and all other queries can be viewed here.

8. Flu fighter update

New uptake figures

61.8% of frontline healthcare workers (594,700 people) have been vaccinated by the end of December 2016. 75 NHS trusts have reached the 75 per cent uptake figure, with an additional 44 trusts reaching 65 per cent. More information available here.

Latest flu blog

Read the newest blog, running a flu fighter campaign with energy, from James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  This tells how their engaging and fun campaign helped them to increase uptake from 39 per cent last year to 65.7 per cent this year.

Flu fighter awards 2017

The flu fighter awards are now open for nominations.  This year there are eight categories, to recognise the efforts of teams and organisations in promoting the flu vaccine to patients as well as staff.

Those who are shortlisted will be invited to the awards ceremony in Leeds, which includes a presentation from the European Centre for Disease Control. The winners from the evening will not only receive national recognition for their work, but will also be shortlisted for a HSJ flu award in November.

To find out more about the award categories and how to submit your entry please go to Nominations will not exceed the 1000 word limit and should be submitted by midnight on 19 February.

9. NHS Employers update


NHS Employers are keen to evaluate the impact of their work, including resources and general support. To contribute please complete their online survey, which will take just 10 minutes to fill in and will help identify improvements for the future. Please respond by 10th February.

Return to work research – get involved

Researchers at the University of Nottingham are conducting a study to explore return to work following total hip or knee replacement from the perspective of ‘employers’ (this could include managers, line managers, human resource managers, union representatives, colleagues, occupational health practitioners). This is part of a larger NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) study of occupational advice for patients undergoing arthroplasty of the lower limb.

Currently there is very little return to work advice for those undergoing surgery, or for their employers, and the university is keen that any advice that is developed should represent the views of employers. They are therefore urgently seeking employers/organisations who have experience of members of their workforce undergoing total hip or knee replacement surgery (within the last 12 months approximately).

This would involve a short confidential telephone interview with one of our research team. They would not be collecting any information about, or interviewing the individual employee having surgery. If you are interested, please contact the research team at the University of Nottingham by email
Suicide prevention toolkit for Employers – call for good practice

Public Health England, Business in the Community and the Samaritans are working on a new toolkit to support employers in suicide prevention. They are looking for any organisations who have any suicide prevention policies/strategies in place, and who could feature as a case study in the toolkit. Occupational suicide data shows that health professionals have one of the highest suicide prevalence rates, therefore, they would really welcome the opportunity to feature an NHS case study. If you would like to share good practice, please email  and we will put you in touch.

10. February/March 2017 Research Plus

The February/March 2017 edition is now available on the website

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 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.

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.

Dr Anne de Bono, Chair
Andrew Gilbey, Network Manager
Wendy Coleman, Network Administrator or

Postal address: PO Box 642, BS23 9NG
Tel: 07584 269322

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