Merger of occupational health nursing bodies called off

The Faculty of Occupational Health Nursing (FOHN) and Association of Occupational Health Nurse Practitioners (AOHNP) have called off their planned merger when the faculty launches this autumn.

The idea of a merger had been backed by 43% of AOHNP members last summer. The original plan, announced at the association’s annual general meeting last October, had been for AOHNP to, in effect, become the membership arm of the new faculty (Occupational Health & Wellbeing, News, November 2017).

However, an inability to reach agreement on how to make such a combined body work in practice has now caused the plan to stall.

It means FOHN will launch as an independent body with its own fee structure in October, with AOHNP also continuing as a separate entity with its own membership. OH nurses will be able to become members of both bodies.

However, both sides have stressed that they will continue to work together closely to promote, and be advocates for, occupational health nursing.

FOHN said in a statement: “With less than five months before the launch of the FOHN on 1 October 2018 and with no formal agreement made or transition committee in place, the FOHN Development Group has decided to focus on the launch and establishment of the new standard setting organisation and progressing its strategic objectives.

“Both organisations will continue to work as separate entities until any future merger arrangements have been agreed. Irrespective of this decision, there is clearly a need for the FOHN and AOHNP to work together to avoid unnecessary duplication of services, save costs and provide a unified voice to the external world,” it added.

AOHNP president Lucy Kenyon told OH&W the stumbling block had been to do with issues of due diligence and AOHNP remained fully committed to the wider vision, and potential, of a faculty for occupational health nurses.

“It is of course disappointing that the negotiations have not led to the outcome we both wanted. But we will still be working closely together; it is now simply going to be about close collaboration with, rather than a formal merger with, FOHN,” she said.

One Response to Merger of occupational health nursing bodies called off

  1. Janet O'Neill 12 Jun 2018 at 5:59 am #

    An issue will be the cost of belonging to more than one organisation
    That may not be practical and therefore OH nurses may need to choose which gives more value for money and which has more weight at a strategic level

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