Call for health specialists to put forward united Black response



Workplace health specialists are being urged by private sector OH providers to come together to formulate a united response to Dame Carol Black’s review of workplace health and thrash out the best way to take her recommendations forward.


National director for health and work Dame Carol’s Working for a Healthier Tomorrow report was published in March and has proposed, among other things, the creation of a Fit for Work service and a fundamental rethink of the role and concept of occupational health.


While the government is not expected to formally respond until the summer, the Commercial Occupational Health Providers Association (Cohpa) has written to a range of key bodies asking whether they will meet to discuss the best way forward.


Among the organisations approached have been the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, the Society of Occupational Medicine, the Royal College of Nursing, and the Association of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners.


Geoff Davies, a director of Cohpa, said Black had been told of the plan and was supportive of the idea.


“We have asked people to come to a meeting, which we will facilitate and provide administrative support for,” he told Occupational Health. “It will be a meeting with no agenda a meeting simply to say ‘what do we need to be doing?’. We have already had two responses to say they will join us,” he added.


It would also be an opportunity to discuss how different bodies could work more collaboratively, and to look at issues such as how to link more closely with the NHS and GPs, Davies suggested.


As Occupational Health went to press, no date had been set for the meeting, but it is thought it is likely to take place either by the middle or the end of May.

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