SEQOHS, the industry-standard accreditation scheme for occupational health services, has launched a consultation into an updated set of standards, which are set to be published in early 2023.
The Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health Service (SEQOHS) standards are the benchmarks that occupational health services are required to demonstrate in order to receive accreditation under the SEQOHS scheme, which many organisations look for when commissioning OH services.
The Faculty of Occupational Medicine, which manages the standards, has been engaging with stakeholders, including the government, regulators, trade unions, purchasers, and in-house and commercial OH service providers, while developing the new standards.
- Remove duplication.
- Place greater emphasis on outputs and outcomes.
- Highlight legal requirements as “must” standards, and “should” standards for SEQOHS accreditation.
- Deliver updated guidance and new templates.
- Provide clearer information for purchasers on the benefits of using a SEQOHS-accredited provider.
Dr Robin Cordell, lead for the SEQOHS standards review, said: “The aim is to remove unnecessary paperwork and duplication, improve guidance, include more focus on clinical output/outcome measures, and provide greater information to purchasers about the benefits of ensuring that occupational health services meet SEQOHS standards.”
Occupational health standards
The proposed standards are mapped against the 2015 SEQOHS standards, so those wishing to respond to the consultation can see what has changed.
There are several additional standards that have been proposed. These include the need for services to demonstrate they meet agreed key performance indicators, measured by employer feedback and action taken following suggestions or complaints; and the need for advice and recommendations to manage health and work issues following referral, with the number of follow-up appointments being monitored.
Additionally, there are new proposed standards for those providing health promotion services, health surveillance reports and pre-placement screening
The government has considered offering a subsidy for SMEs and the self-employed to access occupational health services. As part of this, there needs to be an assurance of quality, and the government referenced SEQOHS as providing that in its response to the Health is everyone’s business consultation last year.
The SEQOHS standards consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 25 November.