Occupational Health Awards 2009: the winners

Overall winner and winner of Award for Health Promotion and Wellbeing: Bangor University

Category judge for Award for Health Promotion and Wellbeing: Dr Charlie Vivian, director of quality, NHS Plus:

“Bangor’s quality of presentation far exceeded the other entries. The argument developed logically, identifying World Health Organisation justification for health, and explaining why it should be promoted at work. Excellent leadership was demonstrated. Health assessments were conducted, resulting in assessment of smoking, alcohol, diet, exercise, back pain and mindfulness. Benefits were demonstrated in reduced sickness absence, and lower levels than comparable organisations. The enthusiasm for the project leapt out.”

The 2009 overall winner judges panel:



  • Paul Darcy, clinical nurse leader, OH, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

  • Nattasha Freeman, immediate past president, Institution of Occupational Health and Safety

  • Jan Maw, Royal College of Nursing public health nurse adviser

  • Dr Michael O’Donnell, chief medical officer, Unum

Comments from the overall judging panel:

“This entry demonstrates how an OH nurse can take the lead in championing health and wellbeing in the workplace. It shows effective team-working and consultation as well as excellent use of available resources. The programme was adapted to suit the circumstances at Bangor – and was well-thought out in response to people’s needs. It was underpinned by good evidence and supports the top public health issues currently impacting upon health and wellbeing. Results show significant short-term improvements, including a reduction in absence, and indicators of long-term improvements to health.”

Award for Best Occupational Health Team: Nestlé

Category judge: Gail Cotton, head of OH services, Leicester Fire and Rescue:

“Radical change in OH delivery in a UK-wide organisation has meant far-reaching efficiencies and use of resources to improve standardisation of practice and delivery. The change has meant creating a new small OH team that is now nurse-led. The team developed a bespoke electronic records management system, and improved communication for team and business.”

Award for Absence Management: Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education

Category judge: Jenny Mason, OH adviser, John Lewis:

“An effective new approach demonstrated a 50% reduction in absenteeism in three years to just 1.62%, saving approximately 5,000 working days per annum. A health and wellbeing initiative promoting health through innovative and effective health promotional events and topics has been implemented and is assisting in maintaining low absence levels.”

Award for Managing Stress and Mental Health: Selex Galileo

Category judge: Anne Harriss, Reader in Educational Development, London South Bank University:

“The team developed a programme that included representation from employees, trade union, management, HR and safety, and occupational health. There was excellent return on investment, including zero ‘Respect at Work’ claims lodged over an 18-month period, and a 23.4% reduction in mental health absences during 2008 compared with the previous year.”

Award for Risk Management and Ill-health Prevention: The Lisheen Mine

Category judge: Dr Tony Stevens, president, Society of Occupational Medicine:

“This was a well-presented submission that clearly set out the challenge facing management and the process that was undertaken to deliver improvements in occupational health and safety using a risk-based approach. Areas of risk to occupational health and safety were identified, line management were engaged, and a clear process was described. This submission importantly included objective data including outcome data in respect of time lost due to injuries and musculoskeletal injury. Overall, this entry provided a time frame, process and outcomes for a successful risk-based occupational health and safety intervention.”

Award for Innovation in Occupational Health: NHS Plus and Occupational Health Clinical Effectiveness Unit

Category judge: Helen Kirk, Independent OH consultant:

“The team have led the first national audits of OH issues with impressive levels of participation. While NHS-focused, subjects were selected that are important to all OH services. The audits have already delivered improvements in practice that improve patient care.”

Award for Managing Stress & Mental Health: Selex Galileo

Category judge: Anne Harriss, Reader in Educational Development, London South Bank University:

“The team developed a programme that included representation from employees, trade union, management, HR and safety and occupational health. There was excellent return on investment including zero ‘Respect at Work’ claims lodged over an 18-month period and a 23.4% reduction in mental health absences during 2008 compared with the previous year.”

Go to www.hrspace.co.uk to view pictures from the event.

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