Realigning occupational health services

Nurse eye appointment

06 / 5 / 2014 Midnight

To support the NHS Health at Work's Guide to the future consolidation of NHS occupational health services, NHS Employers produced two documents to support occupational health leaders, HR directors and boards in commissioning occupational health (OH) services and understanding what commissioned OH services should be delivering for their organisations.  

Both NHS Employers and the NHS Health at Work guidance underpin the move to have all NHS OH services accredited to the SEQOHS standards and are specifically written for an HR audience. They work towards ensuring that NHS staff (and NHS organisations) have an OH service which improves health and wellbeing and provides a proactive service.

In July 2012, NHS Health at Work published a template Service Level Agreement (SLA), fully endorsed by NHS Employers, for occupational health services to use with their providers. It is currently undergoing Quality Assurance for inclusion on the SEQOHS Knowledge Management System (KMS). 

NHS Employers will continue to work with NHS Health at Work and the wider OH community to provide advice and guidance in support of this important work to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff.

Some further background information

In July 2011, the Government published guidance entitled 'Healthy Staff, Better Care for Patients: Realignment of Occupational Health Services to the NHS in England' . The guidance sets out a set of recommendations aimed to help achieve the vision that suppliers of occupational health services to the NHS should play a key role in the delivery of safe, effective and efficient patient care through promoting and protecting the health of staff. 

The aim is to help NHS organisations to be exemplary in occupational health provision and staff health and wellbeing in line with the Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal.

Alongside this the Department of Health's Improvement Framework (July 2011) provides support and direction for commissioners and providers to establish occupational health departments that deliver services that meet the full breadth of NHS staff health and wellbeing needs.

Configuration of occupational health services in the NHS continues to rise up the agenda in the wake of the Black and Boorman reviews, SEQOHS accreditation requirements and the need for greater efficiency in the delivery of NHS occupational health services.

Examples of the various department models found in OH services can be found to the right of this page.

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