Board comes under fire

Profession expresses doubts about the role and purpose of
the Securing Health Together Partnership Board


The role of the Securing Health Together Partnership Board
has come under fire from the OH nursing profession, with doubts being expressed
about its purpose given the failure to appoint any occupational health nursing


The question was put to HSC Commissioner Joyce Edmond-Smith
at the Mid Downs conference last month by Kit Artus of Cheviot Artus.


In reply, Edmond-Smith pointed out that there was an OH
presence on the Partnership Board – Dr Malcolm Harrington, who is chairman of
occupational health at the University of Birmingham. She also stated that the
partnership board was not intended to be representative, that it was composed
of people who had the capability to think strategically and network at high


The partnership board is a body, which although not having
executive authority, will certainly be influential, said Artus. "The fact
that OH nursing is not represented on the board is regrettable. The rest of the
nursing profession will see that as a missed opportunity."


Other participants at the conference agreed. "I’m not
sure what the purpose of the board is", said Carol Bannister, RCN
occupational health adviser.


"Where are they getting their occupational health input
from? There is no OH nurse on the board to balance the medical input which
disenfranchises large parts of the profession. What does the partnership board
add to the HSC, which is the accountable body? We need an explanation of its

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