Editor’s comment

Remember Mrs Merton, the spoof TV chat show hostess created by Caroline Aherne?

One of her catchphrases was: “Let’s have a heated debate!”

Well, this month we are following in her footsteps, hoping to get people talking about our ’40 leading lights’ of occupational health (see page 17). We have selected 40 individuals who are arguably the most influential people in workplace health right now.

Many of you will take issue with the choices we’ve made and may feel we have left out some of the most important people. Others will say: “Where are the occupational hygienists and the ergonomists?” And some will be outraged that only 16 of the listed leading lights are OH nurse practitioners.

So did we got some of it wrong? We have thrown down the gauntlet and we want you to tell us who should have been on the list. We promise to publish your responses if that’s what you want.

Although the list is intended as a talking point and a bit of light-hearted relief, it does serve a serious purpose, too. In choosing these people and organisations to go on the list, we are saying something about who is going to be driving OH provision in the coming years.

There is absolutely no doubt that OH nurse practitioners will play a significant part in shaping occupational health so that it reaches the parts that it has so far failed to reach, to coin an old advertising slogan.

And we want to see more nurses on next year’s list, so start flexing your muscles and let us know what you’re achieving out there.

And yes – let’s have a heated debate. Mrs Merton would be proud.

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