NHS staff guidance updated with stress and drug advice

The NHS has updated its guidance for OH nurses on needlestick injuries, stress management and the use of alcohol and drugs.

A new edition of the Blue Book, known formally as The Management of Health, Safety and Welfare Issues for NHS Staff, has been published by NHS Employers, the body launched in November with responsibility for employer issues in the health service.

The latest version of the book includes updated guidance on managing sickness absence and mental health in staff and 14 new chapters on issues such as handling dangerous substances, managing and assessing risks, reducing needlestick injuries and stress management.

It will replace the first edition of the book, published in 1998, and will be available online for the first time. Julian Topping, national occupational health and safety lead at NHS Employers, said: “The NHS has come a long way since 1998 and is still changing. Occupational health and safety services have also developed and there has been a great demand for new guidance that updates previous work and looks at new areas that are now of concern to employers, such as stress management.”

NHS Employers, which is part of the NHS Confederation, was launched to take responsibility for representing employers’ views, including conducting national negotiations, and acting on the behalf of employers.

Part of its remit will also be to advise trusts on OH issues.

Go to www.nhsemployers.org

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