Staying Healthly at Work Staying Healthly at Work


Hilary Winch
Quality Strategy Facilitator
01603 287030

Boorman Review

One of the major recommendations in the Boorman review on Health and Wellbeing in the NHS was that all NHS staff should have access to accredited Occupational Health Services which meet the Standards outlined in the Faculty of Occupational Medicine Standards. This Report also recommends that employers should consider buying in to other staff wellbeing and support such as:

  • Employee Assistance Programmes
  • Counselling
  • Support services

In the NHS in particular, the report recommends having arrangements for early interventions in respect of Physiotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, where staff members can be referred as soon as they become ill for appropriate support and treatment.

The Business Impact of Occupational Health Services

Research has clearly shown that Occupational Health Services can be cost effective and reduce bottom line costs to the employer, in respect of keeping people at work and providing relevant advice to management, when coupled with other wellbeing support Occupational Health Services can improve staff engagement and thus quality in the service that the employer is offering.

Occupational Health Services


A core part of the Staying Healthy at Work Programme is about providing employees with access to competent and confidential Occupational Health services staffed by appropriately trained and qualified Medical and Nursing staff, appropriate to the needs of that particular employer.

In January 2010 the Faculty of Occupational Medicine published a document “Safe, Effective, Quality Occupational Health Services”, which sets out minimum standards for Occupational Health Services. These Standards together with Standards from NHS Plus provide a base line measurement for accreditation and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine have recently appointed auditors who will be beginning the process of accreditation of Occupational Health Services at the end of 2010.

The “Healthy Workplaces Handbook” published by NHS Employers in 2007 provides useful guidance on provision of Occupational Health Services in the NHS. It says that the size and mix of the Occupational Health Team should be appropriate to the levels of risk and the size of the Occupational Health Team should not be allocated on the number of employees alone, but should take into account other factors such as the number of units and their locations and the type of work being carried out.

What your Quality Strategy Facilitator (QSF) can do for you?

Hilary Winch

The QSF role has been developed by NHS plus to support their members in achieving the Faculty of Occupational Medicine’s new accreditation standards (SEQOHS – Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health Services) and the NHS plus quality strategy standards which are being launched for NHS units as part of the accreditation process.

So far, as your QSF for the East of England region, I have been able to start visiting units across the region. As part of these visits I have been able to:

  • Share with you how the accreditation process will work and provide regular up dates on progress as the programme commences. 

  • Clarify queries raised by individual units relating to either the SEQOHS or NHS plus standards. 

  • Provide advice and support with regards to local action plans in preparation for accreditation. 

  • Share experience and information from other units if struggling with a specific area whilst preparing for accreditation (not just within your region, but gaining information from other QSFs across the country). 

  • Feedback your views and opinions back to the NHS Plus team.

In the future I will be working with the NHS Plus team in supporting a regional workshop which will be specifically designed to address areas and trends in aspects that are requiring more support.

All units will naturally vary in the level of support that they feel they need in order to prepare for accreditation; some may feel confident where as others may feel they wish to be supported more. Either way, feel free to contact me: hilary.winch Direct dial: 01603 287030.

Further information can be obtained via:

SEQOHS accreditation successes

Congratulations to the following trusts on achieving their SEQOHS accreditation.

  • East and North Herts NHS Trust 
  • Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Occupational Health Resources

Three recently published documents provide guidance for OH Leaders, HR Directors and boards. The NHS Health at Work guidance sets out the case for change, describes two models of delivery through managed clinical netwroks and area collobrative services.

NHS Employers further published two pieces of guidance in support of the NHS Health at Work guidance. Please find the documents available on the links below. Further information can also be found at the NHS Employers website, available here.

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