The work of NHS occupational health and back-care teams has been recognised in the annual Back in Work Awards.
The back-care advisory team at the Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust, the overall winner last year, won three prizes for its work in reducing injuries among theatre staff when they are moving patients sideways from beds to operating trolleys or tables.
The introduction of a new type of lifting equipment had proved so successful in reducing back and other manual handling injuries among staff that it has been rolled out across the trust.
Other winners included University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, which won the overall grand prix award.
Awards organiser NHS Employers said the Leicester trust has made safer manual handling practices a key part of daily life for staff since being formed in 2000 from the merger of three acute hospitals, each with its own approach to manual handling.
The team drew up a five-year plan with attention focused mainly on training and risk assessment, and had reduced the number of reported manual handling incidents among staff by almost one-third, it added.
NHS Employers OH policy lead, Mary Newsome, said: “Occupational health is one of the most important services provided in the NHS. That’s because the OH team looks after the health and welfare of the NHS’ most precious asset – its staff.
“If staff are fit and healthy, then they can get on with doing what they do best, which is looking after their patients,” she added.