Dr Steven Boorman, the Royal Mail’s director of corporate responsibility, has been appointed to lead the government’s review into the health and wellbeing of the NHS workforce.
Boorman, who as chief medical adviser to the Royal Mail has long championed workplace health, will be seconded three days a week to the Department of Health as he carries out his review.
Initial findings are expected by the spring, although it is thought the full report could take a number of months to complete.
The joint review, by the Department of Health and the NHS, is a key part of the government’s response to last year’s review of workplace health by national director for health and work Dame Carol Black.
Boorman said: “This is a great opportunity to build on the good work already done and to help the NHS maintain and improve the health of its diverse workforce.”
In a separate development, but one that will feed into his review, the Occupational Health Clinical Effectiveness Unit of NHS Plus in January published the first national audit of the occupational health care provided to NHS staff in England.
The audits concentrated on two key areas: back pain and depression. The key findings were that practice was still highly variable within the NHS but, more positively, the high response rate to the audit, with nearly three-quarters of NHS trusts agreeing to take part, indicated that NHS trusts were keen to improve in this area.
A conference is being held on 22 April for all English NHS OH units, where the results will be formally presented and debated.
Dr Ira Madan, director of clinical standards at NHS Plus, said: “These audits are part of a drive by NHS Plus to improve the quality of occupational health services in the NHS and beyond.”