Public health experts snub occupational health

Occupational health nurses have officially been part of the public health community since the changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council register, so a visit to last month’s Faculty of Public Health annual conference seemed in order.

Admittedly, it was a flying visit, but was it too much to hope for at least one reference to the workplace? After all, the conference was called ‘Making Public Health Work’.

Surely the titanic efforts of the government’s health, work and wellbeing strategy have made some impact on local public health policy? Not at all, it seems.

The delegates were clearly from an entirely different planet.

However, to be fair, these public-health types – doctors and civil service people working in Primary Care Trusts – cannot be faulted on their willingness to look at the big picture.

Phil Hanlon, professor of public health at the University of Glasgow told us that “the whole modern project itself is causing us deep harm” and that we have to abandon wealth and economic growth, drink less and embrace sustainability and ecological ethics.

This could be dangerous stuff if GPs start writing sicknotes signing people off because they’re suffering from ‘the whole modern project’.

If you want a serious look at the event visit the website.

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