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Found 29 results
  1. Content Article
    The theme of this year’s International Long Covid Awareness Day is ‘Confront Long Covid: Recognise, prevent, act’. In this interview, we speak to retired occupational physician Dr Clare Rayner about her work in understanding Long Covid and its impact on individuals, the health service and the wider economy. She talks about recent guidance she has developed on people with Long Covid returning to work and outlines the impact Long Covid has on the workforce. She calls on healthcare leaders and the Government to invest in treatment-related research as well as highlighting the significant health risks associated with Covid reinfection.
  2. Content Article
    This paper provides a summary of a webinar entitled “Long Covid and return to work support - what works?” held in March 2022. The webinar was organised because of the multiple different approaches being taken to the management of Long Covid across the UK and elsewhere. The paper aims to provide guidance to occupational health providers, employers, workers, people with Long Covid, HR personnel, managers, healthcare professionals and unions about the identification and management of Long Covid, particularly relating to return to work. It argues that a multi-disciplinary approach is essential to help retain and support people affected by Long Covid to return to work. It includes information on: Universal first-line screening assessment in Long Covid Red flags and specialist referral Treatment which can help function and recovery Rehabilitation Specific Fitness for Work considerations after Covid-19 infection Examples of workplace adjustments for Long Covid Prevention of infection: risk management in the workplace Workplace public health messages
  3. Content Article
    In this episode Dr Paul Grime, Chairman of the Safer Healthcare Biosafety Network, speaks to Dr Shriti Pattani, an accredited specialist in Occupational Health working for London North West University Hospitals NHS Trust as their Clinical Director. She also works as a GP and was recently awarded an OBE for her outstanding work in occupational health. Her particular interests include the mental health of Doctors, education of GPs and other physicians on the importance of work on health and how best to use the ‘fit note’ and opportunities for fast tracking NHS staff to promote their health and wellbeing. Safety Talks is a podcast series as part of the Safety for All Campaign, launched to shine a light on the symbiotic relationship and benefits of integrating the approach to deliver healthcare worker safety and patient safety.
  4. News Article
    Health officials are calling for urgent intervention from the government to meet the steep surge in demand for occupational therapy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to healthcare professionals from both the NHS and the private care system, demand for occupational-therapy-led rehabilitation services in Britain has increased by a staggering 82 per cent over the past six months alone. Swelling pressure on already “overloaded” rehabilitation services has stirred up stark warnings from members of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), who say the level of demand for the service they provide “isn’t sustainable” as there isn’t a large enough workforce to meet the need. A revealing survey carried out by the college has raised grave questions about the prospect of providing timely rehabilitation for people recovering from short and long-term illnesses who need urgent support to enable them to carry out their daily activities. The survey of of 550 occupational therapists working in the UK found that 84 per cent are now supporting people whose needs have become more complex because of delays in treatment brought about by the pandemic. As a result of this, coupled with a wider increase in the number of people requiring help, 71 per cent of the RCOT’s respondents felt there were not enough occupational therapists to meet the demand. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Independent, 22 May 2022
  5. News Article
    UK ministers should act to ensure Long Covid sufferers receive the support they need from employers, with as many as two-thirds claiming they have been unfairly treated at work, a report argues. The report, from the TUC and the charity Long Covid Support, warns that failing to accommodate the 2m people who, according to ONS data, may be suffering from long Covid in the UK will create, “new, long-lasting inequalities”. The analysis is based on responses from more than 3,000 long Covid sufferers who agreed to share their experiences. Two-thirds said they had experienced some form of unfair treatment at work, ranging from harassment to being disbelieved about their symptoms or threatened with disciplinary action. One in seven said they had lost their job. The report makes a series of recommendations, including urging the government to designate Long Covid as a disability for the purposes of the 2010 Equality Act, to make clear sufferers are entitled to “reasonable adjustments” at work; and to classify Covid-19 as an occupational disease to allow people who contracted it through their job to seek compensation. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 March 2023
  6. Content Article
    The occupational therapy (OT) workforce is under huge pressure. Increased demand coupled with workforce shortages is challenging OTs’ capacity to provide essential support to people whose lives are impacted by long term health conditions and disability. In November 2022, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists surveyed OT practitioners across the UK about the workplace issues they’re facing now, and how these affect the services they deliver to the public. They also asked how practitioners are impacted personally, including whether they intend to continue working as OTs. The challenges shared by over 2,600 respondents have significant implications for the resilience of the current and future OT workforce, and the people who use OT services.
  7. Content Article
    The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact heavily on all our lives and one of the long-lasting, but unanticipated, impacts is the emergence of Long Covid. Whilst many people infected by Covid-19 may fully recover, significant numbers will experience varied, ongoing and debilitating symptoms that last weeks, months or years following the initial infection. This prolonged condition has been given the umbrella term Long Covid. Recognition of Long Covid was accelerated by people-led advocacy groups such Long Covid Support. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that, as of 1 August 2021, 970,000 people in the UK were experiencing self-reported Long Covid. The most recent data from 2 January 2023, shows that this has increased to 2 million people This report summarises the findings of a self-selecting survey of 3,097 people with Long Covid in September and October 2022 on their experiences of work.
  8. Content Article
    NHS Health at Work is the network of occupational health teams dedicated to ensuring that the NHS has a healthy, motivated workforce that is able to provide the best possible patient care. The NHS is the largest employer in the UK and aims to provide an exemplary occupational health service that is improving the health and well being of over 1.3 million NHS staff. NHS Health at Work influences and advises Government and other bodies about occupational health in the NHS. It also provides a gateway for businesses in the broader community who are seeking occupational health advice and support.
  9. Content Article
    This report by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) sets out practical ways in which decision-makers and system designers can use the skills offered by occupational therapy to ensure all patients get access to the support they need. Health equity is one of RCOT’s priorities for 2022 and this report looks at the role of occupational therapists in widening access to care in the following areas: Primary care Housing Children, young people, and families Community rehabilitation Community mental health Criminal justice system
  10. Content Article
    1- 7 November 2021 is Occupational Therapy Week. In this blog, Susanna Keenan, occupational therapist and Joanna Gilmore, student occupational therapist at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, explain what their role involves and the important part occupational therapists play in patient safety.
  11. Content Article
    The prolonged illness experienced by many patients following acute COVID-19 has been termed ‘Long Covid’ by the self-organised patient groups formed on platforms like Facebook. Some of these patients have now been symptomatic for over a year. Long Covid impacts on ability to work, which has implications for employers, occupational health (OH) services and the wider economy. Clare Rayner and Richard Campbell discuss this in an article in Occupational Medicine.
  12. Content Article
    The precautionary principle is important in high risk, high harm, safety critical work. Risks to workers, customers, or service users are substantial, and so the precautionary principle in which precautions are taken until safety is proven, often apply. However, in healthcare it’s different. Healthcare takes the approach that the status quo applies until something is proven dangerous and harmful. The burden of proof is often high and often falls to the workforce to “prove.”  Alison Leary, Professor of healthcare and workforce modelling at London South Bank University, in this BMJ article discusses the reasons healthcare fails to heed the precautionary principle and why potentially the cost of doing so is high and ultimately catastrophic. 
  13. Content Article
    It has become imperative that we discuss the issue of mental health in doctors and other healthcare staff. The mental wellbeing of a healthcare staff forms the bedrock of patient safety. It takes a safe and supported person to deliver safe healthcare and we must give this attention as we try to find ways to improve the quality of care within our healthcare systems. Ehi Iden, hub topic lead for Occupational Health and Safety, OSHAfrica, reflects on the increasing workload and pressure healthcare professionals face, the impact this has on patient safety and why we need to start 're-humanising' the workplace.
  14. Content Article
    This quick guide from Royal College of Occupational Therapists outline the unique role of occupational therapists in supporting adults to manage and recover from Long Covid. They have been written for occupational therapists working in specialist Long Covid services and in other acute, primary, secondary and community settings. The guides will also be useful for service managers and commissioners responsible for planning and delivering specialist Long Covid services, and for parents, carers and families of people affected by Long Covid. See also their guide for children with Long Covid.
  15. Event
    Musculoskeletal (MSK) problems are a leading cause of disability and sick leave in the working population. The purpose of this meeting is to assist participants in developing and implementing effective strategies in their practice to address these issues. A panel of experts from various disciplines, including occupational health, orthopaedics, psychology, and policy steering groups, will provide comprehensive and practical information on the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of MSK problems. By attending, you will: Learn about the latest innovations in ergonomic settings at workplace. Understand supportive psychological factors for management of MSK pain. Learn about the state of art therapeutic interventions in some MSK conditions affecting workers. Gain insights into national policies/strategies for prevention and rehabilitation of the MSK problems. Register
  16. News Article
    Occupational health professionals should avoid employment and management matters related to unvaccinated NHS staff, new guidance has warned. The Faculty of Occupational Medicine guidance comes as trusts are considering their options of how to approach patient-facing staff who remain unvaccinated, including their potential redeployment or dismissal. However, HSJ understands some occupational health practitioners are concerned they may become entangled in difficult ethical issues, such as the vaccination status of individual employees, or disciplinary processes. Today’s FOM guidance said: “There is no scope for occupational health practitioners to provide an opinion on medical exemptions, whether to confirm or refute them… “Redeployment, dismissal and other employment consequences of vaccine refusal by a worker, within the scope of the proposed regulations, are entirely employment and management matters, and not an area in which occupational health should be involved.” FOM president Steve Nimmo said: “When the programme is implemented, occupational health professionals should be mindful of ethical and consent issues, and be careful not to be associated with any disciplinary process.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 7 January 2022
  17. Event
    The 4th #EndPJparalysis Global Summit will bring people from health and social care around the world together to share best practice, to explore the research, case studies and lived experience around the impact of deconditioning. The Summit will include a wide range of clinical presentations as well as leadership discussions and perspectives on looking after those in the caring professions. Like previous years, there will be an eclectic mix of speakers, panel discussions and the opportunity to ask questions and build up your peer network. The Summit will run online for 36hrs. Sessions will be recorded and available to those registered after the event. The Summit is free to all people in health and social care. Register
  18. Content Article
    This article in the Nursing Times Long Covid series discusses how nurses are at high occupational risk of Long Covid and how best to support them.
  19. Content Article
    Safety at design is giving due consideration to safety at the conceptual stage of your design. We mostly do not look at this and what we end up completing the design of a product with high ergonomics risks to the end users. What should we consider and how should we go about this? These and many more are will looked at in this presentation from Ehi Iden, chief executive of Occupational Health and Safety Managers.
  20. Content Article
    This report examines the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people living with long-term conditions and highlights that many have deteriorated faster than usual due to being unable to access rehabilitation services. It makes recommendations to the government aimed at restoring rehabilitation support services. The report was produced collaboratively by The Alzheimer's Society, The Stroke Association, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Centre for Mental Health, Age UK, The College of Podiatry, The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, The Royal College of Occupational Therapists, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and The British Dietetic Association.
  21. Content Article
    Collectively, allied health professionals (AHPs) are the third largest clinical workforce in the NHS: there are 185,000 AHPs working in 14 professions across the spectrum of health and care, education, academia, research, the criminal justice system and the voluntary and private sectors. This NHS England strategy is for the whole AHP community, including support workers, assistant practitioners, registered professionals, pre-registration apprentices and students. It aims to reflect how AHPs work in multidisciplinary teams, so that the AHP community working in a variety of health and care sectors can use it to continually improve and redesign services.
  22. Content Article
    #EndPJparalysis has become a global movement embraced by nurses, therapists and medical colleagues. Its aim: to value patients’ time and help more people to live the richest, fullest lives possible by reducing immobility, muscle deconditioning, and dependency at the same time as protecting cognitive function, social interaction and dignity. Many of the people we care for are in their last 1000 days and they are the very people who do not have time to waste. Yet they are the people who are most likely to get stuck in our hospital systems due to their complex health and social needs. There is plenty of evidence that immobility in hospital leads to deconditioning, loss of functional ability and cognitive impairment, all of which have the potential to increase a patient’s length of stay, using up their valuable time. One of the major impacts of the #EndPJparalysis campaign has been the focus on both the individual and the organisational impact of ‘staying in bed’.
  23. Content Article
    ISO 45001, Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, is the world’s first International Standard for occupational health and safety (OH&S). It provides a framework to increase safety, reduce workplace risks and enhance health and well-being at work, enabling an organisation to proactively improve its OH&S performance
  24. Content Article
    The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is an independent scientific advisory body that looks at industrial injuries benefit and how it is administered. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the IIAC has been reviewing and assessing the increasing scientific evidence on the occupational risks of Covid-19. This report builds on an IIAC interim Position Paper published in February 2021 and considers more recent data on the occupational impacts of Covid-19, particularly around the longer term health problems and disability caused by the virus. IIAC found the most convincing and consistent evidence was for health and social care workers in certain occupational settings, who present with five serious pathological complications following Covid-19 that have been shown to cause persistent impairment and loss of function in some workers.
  25. Content Article
    This checklist is the first step in identifying and prioritizing areas of action for improving the protection of health and safety of health workers in line with WHO–ILO Global Framework for National Occupational Health Programmes for Health Workers. It is designed to be filled out in discussion with management, responsible officers for occupational health, environmental health, infection prevention and control, human resources and representatives of workers in the health facility. This participatory approach will provide a variety of perspectives and a more comprehensive basis for identifying the existing preventive measures, possible problems and solutions for continuous improvement. Using this checklist to begin this process will give you an overview of areas where you can propose to take action and help you determine what to prioritize. These priorities guide you in planning for improvements.
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