NHS occupational health service reshuffles to alter focus

The NHS occupational health service NHS Plus will change from its current form at the end of March 2013.

The move, which was announced in 2011, will see NHS Plus split into two: the NHS Health and Work Network and a not-for-profit Health and Work Community Interest Company (CIC).

The network, NHS Plus as it has been known up to now, will focus on improving the health of NHS staff, developing best-practice models and helping units to achieve the Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health Service (SEQOHS) accreditation.

The Health and Work CIC will, in turn, focus on providing “expert occupational health advice to the NHS and public sector areas”, including developing the Health for Work Adviceline, the pilot occupational health helpline for small and medium-sized enterprises, and initiatives such as the Mohawk online clinical benchmarking tool, which was launched back in April. The CIC will be able to provide independent reviews of occupational health services, advice and guidance on commissioning, plus a telephone- and web-based helpline to deal with more serious cases.

The service is also circulating a paper explaining some of the issues surrounding the future consolidation of NHS OH services, an issue that has been worked on and talked about since the Dame Carol Black “Working for a healthier tomorrow” report of 2008 and Dr Steve Boorman’s review of NHS staff and wellbeing in 2009.

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