When an SME turned to the NHS to help it overcome the delay in renewing drivers' licences, health promotion was the answer. Sandra Adams explains.
Among the targets set by the Health and Safety Commission in 2001 to improve health at work by 2010 was the use of the workplace to promote the health of employees. Prior to this, the same ethos had been outlined in 1998 by the English National Board and the Department of Health in the publication Occupational Health Nursing, Contributing to Healthier Workplaces.
The government repeated the message in the Choosing HealthWhite Paper, suggesting that the workplace is an ideal platform to enable and support health by encouraging employers to promote health and support their employees in making healthier choices.
However, it is vital to the success of any health promotion programme to have the support and commitment of the company. This is particularly important when considering when, where and how the programme will be delivered to enable the workforce to participate fully the company needs to balance the benefits of the intervention with the cost of workforce members being allowed to participate during work time, the cost of any training required by the OH nurse, and the cost of providing the service.
I work as a specialist nurse in an NHS occupational health department that is part of NHS Plus, offering OH services to local small- and medium-sized businesses.
This article looks at how health promotion was provided to a local transport services company, which employs 150 drivers who were required to have passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) licences.
The company asked for our help to set up and develop on-site well-person screening, incorporating health promotion, as an annual event for all drivers.
The company's aim was for the service to help maintain or improve the health of their drivers so that the drivers would have fewer health pro