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#1 Posted : 28 February 2002 17:36:00(UTC)
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Posted By Sue Kelly
We're currently carrying out an occupational health service review. Has anyone else been through this process recently? Do you have an occupational health service that works really well? Can you identify what makes it successful? Any useful insights or information would be appreciated. We'd be happy to share our findings once the review is complete.
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#2 Posted : 28 February 2002 21:40:00(UTC)
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Posted By John Murphy
I have recently taken on the management of our occupational health service. The first issue for me was to get an acceptable service level agreement in place with our clients and then a workable and acceptable ill-health referral procedure that reflects the needs of local authority in an ever changing work environment. Following this, and in the near future, we are to develop our OH strategy. I am happy to share my thoughts and work to date, with you if it is of any help.
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#3 Posted : 03 March 2002 08:58:00(UTC)
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Posted By Phil Douglas
Sue, I manage both H&S and OH, and have the following to add.

It maybe worth in the first instant to look at legal compliance issues, i.e. is the OH unit involved in health surveillance for the organisation, both statutory and non-statutory? If this is in place and working, then all of the other things which go to make a successful OH unit can be looked at, as a guide:

In August 1998 the UK Government published a consultative document entitled developing an occupational health strategy for Great Britain. In it suggests that there should be 7 strategic aims, which the UK should endeavour to achieve in the next 10 years:

· to have suitable procedures, systems and campaigns in place to address occupational health issues

· to decide which occupational health issues should be targeted for action

· to offer ways of providing relevant sound advice on occupational health

· to collect and make available essential occupational health information

· to raise awareness of occupational health and to make training and education on this available to everyone

· to provide systems to assess the effectiveness of actions taken

· to gain commitment from all interested parties.

I would design a review along the lines of the above, under each heading, think of questions that you would need to ask, that would demonstrate that each area is being considered in your organisation. Perhaps use a simple scoring system to assess each question, i.e. 0-4 based on the approach – what value will it add? And if it exists in the organisation is the best practice being deployed and to what degree?

E.g. take the first question, to have suitable procedures, systems and campaigns in place to address occupational health issues – sub questions to review this could be; how are health surveillance issues identified in risk assessments communicated to the OHU? Is there a mechanism in place for people to communicate OH concerns through the organisation? Are well person schemes in operation?

The questions are limitless, but you should be able to identify a few questions under each which will give you, at least, an indication. If you suspect you have nothing, or little in place at the moment, i.e. you have nothing to audit against, then a review in this way will help greatly.

A review like this would not be complete without some type of Employee Survey to assess the climate. When you identify that procedures are not in place, having the information from the sharp end, will assist in the development of systems that will work.

Put it all together and you should have a good picture of the current situation, what is required to make changes and how to make the changes. (and you will have designed your own review!)

Phil MIOSH RSP
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