The Government’s strategy for occupational health in the police force is
resulting in a higher profile and more money for OH, but more could still be
done to help officers understand what the profession has to offer.
According to senior OH professionals in forces around the country, the
launch of a Home Office strategy for OH in 2002, and the pledging of £15m, has
led to an expansion of the service and more OH practitioners on the ground.
Cultural barriers, particularly around seeking help for psychological
injuries, are being broken down and there is a greater recognition of what OH
Initiatives include Merseyside police taking on three extra OH advisers,
Greater Manchester police introducing a mobile OH service, and South Yorkshire
police developing proactive strategies for dealing with back injuries.
"It is fantastic that, for the first time, OH has been given this high
a priority by the Home Office. But a lot of people still do not know who we are
and what we do and don’t do," said Sharon Samworth, principal OH manager
at South Yorkshire police.