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NHS Health at Work November bulletin

/Board members/Shriti_Pattani

Dear Colleagues

I hope that your flu vaccination programmes are progressing well and not causing too much chaos!

As you know the mental health of doctors has been highlighted in a recent report published by SOM and The Louise Tebboth Foundation. The link can be found in the bulletin. On the back of this the GMC have asked to meet with the Network, SOM and authors of the report. The meeting is scheduled for November and I will be attending.

FOM and SOM have also written to the Department of Health and Social Care about NHS occupational health services and their reply suggests that the Minister would like to visit a department. I hope to be involved in this.

Network members have raised concerns that in some areas the Practitioner Health Programme works in isolation from the OH service when supporting a doctor back into the workplace. I have raised this concern on our members’ behalf and I am meeting with the Chief Executive Officer Lucy Warner later this month to discuss how we can work together when required in the best interest of doctors.

I will update members on the outcome of both the meetings in the next bulletin.

Keep warm!

Shriti Pattani
Network Chair

The next edition will be circulated on 5th December.

In this edition:

1. Network Board appointment for London region
2. Key messages from Network September Board meeting
3. MoHaWK – Round 14 will soon be here
4. Mental health support for doctors
5. BITC mental health report
6. Action on hearing loss
7. Legal experience training – Network member discount
8. Health and care workers
9. RSM/FOM conference 28th November 2018
10. Disability rights
11. Outpatients app to manage appointments
12. New NHS social care and support guide available
13. Just one thing after another: living with multiple conditions
14. Flu fighter update
15. NHS Employers update


1. Network Board appointment for London region

We are pleased to announce that Dr Sonal Mehta has been appointed to the Network as the representative for the London region. Sonal is a Specialist Registrar in Occupational Medicine at St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Sonal’s regional colleagues can contact her at

2. Key messages from Network September Board meeting

A summary of the key points from the September Board meeting is available to members here.

3. MoHaWK - Round 14 will soon be here

It doesn’t seem 5 minutes since we were advertising about Round 13 and now the preparations for Round 14 are getting underway. Watch out for the briefing note which will be with you soon. The data collection month is December and the data input month is January. Start planning on how you will collect your data NOW – so that you are really well prepared for winter! Don’t forget that in the last round we added in the telephone assessment experience survey. If you undertake telephone assessments in your service, this is an ideal area for you to review. The template questionnaire is in the KMS on the Mohawk system (or contact me if struggling to find it). You can start gaining feedback now so you have lots of data to input in January.

4. Mental health support for doctors

During October mental health issues amongst doctors has taken a high profile.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, announced that there will be national funding for a new mental health support scheme which will cover all doctors working in the NHS. The scheme will cover approximately 110,000 more doctors, in addition to those already supported. The new service will be openly procured starting in the next 6 months.

The Society of Occupational Medicine and The Louise Tebboth Foundation published a report "What could make a difference to the mental health of UK doctors? A review of the research evidence” which supports the case for additional funding. The review found that the incidence of mental health problems among doctors is increasing alongside the growing demands and diminishing resources experienced in the healthcare sector and that GPs, trainee and junior doctors appear to be particularly vulnerable, experiencing distress and burnout early in their career.  

SOM has also issued a leaflet, which was produced with the Charlie Waller Trust on “Looking after your wellbeing – a guide for occupational health clinicians”? A copy is available here and you can feedback on the leaflet here.

Finally, our Chair Dr Shriti Pattani attended a meeting on 27th September on junior doctors’ wellbeing and a summary of the discussion is available here.

5. BITC mental health report

Business in the Community issued their third Mental Health at Work report in October. This is part of a three-year collaborative project with business and eight national partners, and demonstrates the prevalence and impact of mental health issues and suggests that employers need to urgently ramp up the breadth and quality of support they’re providing.

6. Action on hearing loss

Currently over a third of business leaders say that they lack the confidence to support people with hearing loss in the workplace. Action on Hearing Loss aims to change this with their Working for Change campaign. The website now includes new case studies from employees and employers, a downloadable Employers’ Guide, videos, an online quiz and an Employers’ Hub – a one stop shop for supporting employees with hearing loss.
A range of resources including posters, an animation, video and graphics is also available here.

7. Legal experience training – Network member discount

Legal Experience Training offer 5% off their Essential Legal Skills for Occupational Health Professionals course fees for NHS Health At Work Network members (a saving of £24). Their next course will run on the 13th/14th December 2018 in London. In addition, on booking places, there is a discount of 15% off each course place available, when 2 or more colleagues book and pay together.

Further information and a booking form is available here.

8. Health and care workers

Workers in health and social care can now voice their ideas and concerns through a new online platform set up by the Department of Health and Social Care. It covers five areas; feeling empowered, bullying violence and discrimination, training and development, inclusion and getting the basics right. The Department will use the platform to provide better support for health and care workers.

9. RSM/FOM conference 28th November 2018

‘Ethics, the law and data protection in work and health’ is a joint meeting run between the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) and the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) due to demand from RSM and FOM members and others, who give advice on health and work. This also includes a discussion on the interface between legal issues and professional ethics in the changing context for our practice. 

The meeting will look into the updated guidance published by the GMC in 2017 on confidentiality and consent, including that relevant to employment, the publication of the updated guidance by the FOM on ethics in occupational health practice, and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, and the Data Protection Act 2018. 

For more information or to book click here.

10. Disability rights

Disability Rights UK has launched a Right to Participate website to increase awareness of the Equality Act 2010 and how it can protect disabled people from discrimination. It includes advice on employment related issues, including how to raise a complaint at work about failure to make reasonable adjustments.

11. Outpatients app to manage appointments

A new app which enables patients to manage their outpatients appointments at the touch of a button has been developed by Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The app allows patients to change and confirm appointments on an electronic device, speeding up the medical booking process and giving patients greater choice and flexibility. Find out more here.

12. New NHS social care and support guide available

NHS Digital have produced a new guide containing information to help those who may need social care, now or in the future, to understand options available to them and how to access services. NHS organisations can use this to signpost people to the information or reuse it on their own websites through a free syndication service which pulls up to date content directly from onto their website or mobile application.

13. Just one thing after another: living with multiple conditions

The Taskforce on Multiple Conditions has commissioned a new report ‘Just one thing after another: living with multiple conditions’, which explores how it feels to live with multiple long-term health conditions. The report showcases the everyday experiences of people living with multiple conditions and perceptions of their quality of life as well as the changes they’d like to see. Find out more here.

14. Flu fighter update

New study shows the seven elements improve vaccination uptake
A recent study by Stead et al has found that trusts who incorporated the seven elements for a successful campaign resource, developed by NHS Employers in their local flu campaign, achieved a higher flu vaccination uptake compared to trusts who did not. For more information, read our summary on the study on the NHS Employers website

Flu fighter award winners case studies
For those looking for inspiration to improve and reenergise their flu campaign, have a look at our newly released case studies highlighting good practice from the 2018 flu fighter award winners. These case studies show examples of successful campaigns and have lots of tips to help with your local flu campaign.

Feedback on opt out form
In September 2018, senior leaders in the NHS issued a letter to chief executives, confirming this year’s trusts are required to report how many healthcare workers with direct patient contact have been offered the vaccine and have opted out. We would like to gather feedback from trusts on implementing this new requirement, if you would like to share your thoughts, please email

Report on flu vaccination programme 
The House of Commons Science and Technology committee has published a report looking into the flu vaccination programme. In this report, they looked at the flu vaccination programme in 2017/18, vaccine uptake and future developments in the flu vaccine. The Committee are keen to improve the variation in uptake of flu vaccination in healthcare workers and underlined the importance of the vaccination in protecting patients.

15. NHS Employers update

Musculoskeletal survey
The Institute of Occupational Medicine are undertaking a review of guidance on managing chronic musculoskeletal problems. For more information and to complete the survey to support the review, click here.

NHS sickness absence statistics for June 2018
Take a look at the June 2018 sickness absence figures released by NHS Digital. How is your organisation doing?

Keeping fit at work
Read how Luton and Dunstable University Hospital adopted a new initiative Fit in 50 to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees.

Supporting employees with cancer
James Tracey, Senior Human Resources Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has written a blog about supporting employees with cancer.

New guidance on safety culture
Read the new Health, Safety and Wellbeing Partnership Group guidance for employers about the importance  of establishing a good safety culture to avoid accidents in the workplace and improve staff safety and health and wellbeing.

The importance of sleep for NHS staff
Read how a power nap can help reduce the impact of fatigue, and the positive benefits of this for NHS staff and ultimately their patients.


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 Shriti Pattani, Chair
Andrew Gilbey, Network Manager
Wendy Coleman, Network Administrator

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

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