The government has pledged £10m to improve the provision of occupational health (OH) services to NHS staff.
The cash will also be used to increase the availability of NHS Plus, the network of NHS departments that provide OH services to small- and medium-sized firms.
The funding will be used support between 10 and 12 pilot sites of good practice in OH care. These will then be made available for other companies to learn from.
The funding could be used to move OH services closer to the workforces using them. NHS OH services are usually based in trusts providing acute services.
It would cost between £500,000 and £750,000 to build and fit out a unit to house OH services in a business park, to provide better access for the people they are aiming to serve.
Health minister Rosie Winterton said: “NHS Plus provides a valuable OH service to small- and medium-sized companies. If your staff are off sick because of back pain, stress or any other work-related problem, your business suffers. A healthy workplace makes for good business.”
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