Two significant initiatives are under way to improve the evidence base and sharing of information in the occupational health profession.
A database of nurses working in the sector is being collated by the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) to publicise and communicate best practice, clinical standards and evidence-based guidance.
At the same time, the Faculty of Occupational Medicine’s and Royal College of Physicians’ Health and Work Development Unit is carrying out a national audit of NHS trusts to see how effectively they are implementing workplace health-related public health guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The SOM initiative has been commissioned by NHS Plus with the aim of creating a database so nurses working in OH can be easily contacted with information and guidelines relating to daily practice.
The society has stressed the database will not be used for commercial purposes and all data will be securely protected, with its aim being to improve communication between nurses working in occupational health and ensure they are informed about the latest work in clinical standards.
To this end, it is asking nurses who work in, or have an interest in, OH and want to be provided with such information to email their name, full contact details, NMC registration and workplace sector to OHNursesregister@som.org.uk.
Meanwhile, an audit by the Health and Work Development Unit (formerly the Occupational Health Clinical Effectiveness Unit) will measure the extent and quality of the implementation of the NICE public health guidance relevant to the workplace.
Participating trusts will receive a confidential report in March 2011 to help identify gaps or spot new opportunities. Further information on the audit can be obtained by email.