The Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health Service (SEQOHS) standards and accreditation scheme has officially recognised its first occupational health provider, just seven months after formally launching.
Manchester-based OH provider Healthwork successfully passed the assessment process in May and is to be awarded accreditation for the next five years.
The SEQOHS scheme, which is managed by the Royal College of Physicians of London on behalf of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, has also reached another milestone: it now has more than 100 occupational health services signed up as members. Achieving SEQOHS membership status is the first stage of the accreditation process.
Dr Paul Nicholson, SEQOHS clinical lead at the faculty and associate medical director at Healthy People, Healthy Business, said that this was the equivalent of one service signing up every working day since its launch.
“We are ahead of where we anticipated we would be at this point in the year, which is excellent news. The take-up has been rapid, and to go beyond 100 in such a short time has been amazing.
“It has become clear that there is huge interest in, and a clear commitment to, accreditation among the large number of early adopters,” he added.
“The SEQOHS scheme aims to raise the overall standard of care provided by occupational health services in the United Kingdom. We are absolutely thrilled to be the first company to be assessed and accredited,” said Dr Tok Hussain, operations director of Healthwork.
The assessment process included close examination of Healthwork’s documentation and service, with the company described as having “excellent documents overall that exceed the minimum standard” and operating a “well-led and managed service”.
SEQOHS is a voluntary accreditation scheme and was launched at the faculty’s winter conference in December 2010, one year after it unveiled ground-breaking standards for OH providers.
However, it is widely expected that, over time, accreditation will in effect become mandatory as it becomes a “must have” that employers look for when deciding on contracting OH services.