Selected Research Findings and publications

ACPOHE:   Fit Note resources developed by ACPOHE

(October 2023)

There is more information below, and all resources are on the ACPOHE website:

NEW Fit note resources to help awareness of the importance of supporting patients back to work

ACPOHE is pleased to showcase our new set of resources, available to download from our Work & Health Learning and Development Hub –  (click Free Guest Access and go to Resource Library).


Resources include:

  1. A 6-minute podcast to outline our new resources and why they are important
  2. A video (to play on screen in GP reception waiting rooms) to help manage patient expectations of ‘fit note’ certification.  This is 1 minute in length.
  3. A 2-minute video aimed at increasing awareness to GPs of the role of FCPs, particularly around work conversations and completion of the fit note. Please share this with the GPs you work alongside.
  4. An 8-minute training video, which is a reminder of the importance of keeping people at work to help health outcomes (aimed at GPs, FCPs, other healthcare workers in primary care.
  5. Infographics to patients on what is the fit note, and how to get the most out of your fit note (ideal for notice boards within GP practices).
  6. Infographics to healthcare professionals on completing the fit note (a quick easy reminder to all involved in completing the fit note).
  7. Completed fit notes, with audio presentation on a variety of case studies.

SOM – Understanding Recent Trends in Ill-Health Driven Fallout from the UK Job Market

(25 September 2023)

The member bodies of the Council for Work and Health undertake a wide range of research studies and create useful resources and publications for practitioners and employers.  Selected examples are referenced here. Member bodies are encouraged to provide summary information on relevant publications.

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) today released the first in-depth study into the impact of ill-health on the UK’s working population, “Understanding Recent Trends in Ill-Health Driven Fallout from the UK Job Market”.

Launched following Occupational Health Awareness Week (18-24th September), the report analyses data trends – providing a comprehensive picture of the current health challenges experienced by the UK workforce.

 Key findings include:

  • Long-term sickness in women across all age groups has been rising since 2014, with women becoming economically inactive at a higher rate than men.
  • An increase in economic inactivity in young men, aged 16 to 24, with sharp increases in mental health issues.
  • Occupations with a low ability to work from home are more likely to see people leave the workforce due to long-term sickness.
  • Pressures in health and social care delivery, including the impact of COVID-19, has led to backlogs for treatment and worsening health outcomes.
  • The UK has an ageing population, high rates of excess weight, and alcohol consumption and a legacy of smoking, resulting in long-term physical and mental health problems.

Of the 41.6 million people in the UK of working age (age 16-64), 2.5 million (1 in 16 people) are inactive due to long term sickness. The historically high number of people off work, long-term sick, remains an immediate and pressing concern for the Government. More than 11 million people are living with long term conditions that can affect their ability to work.

Of the 4 million people living with mental health conditions only 2 million are employed. Nearly 60 percent of people who are economically inactive and left work in the last two to three years have a work limiting health condition.

The analysis demonstrates how occupation, gender, and disability affects getting back to work. Occupational health (OH) provision is a key solution to this issue. SOM is calling for comprehensive OH coverage, with only 50 percent of workers currently accessing OH.

Government steps have been taken, including in the Spring Budget, to support OH so those with health conditions can continue work, but more must be done to keep people healthy at work and reverse these trends. New Government consultations on OH and Tax incentives on occupational health (OH) are welcomed and are currently open.

SOM hopes that publishing this data will support policy conversations to achieve universal OH coverage.

SOM CEO Nick Pahl said: “The historically high number of people off work long-term sick remains an immediate and pressing concern for the Government. Without investment in occupational health, these figures will continue to get worse.

“This report helps us better understand the patterns and causes of ill-health driven fallout from the UK job market. It’s vital that we understand why the UK is seeing a rise in inactivity rates compared to other OECD countries.

“We need to understand what the catalysts are, the drivers of fallout, and what factors contribute to preventing people return to work.”

SOM Deep Dive Research

Burnout in healthcare: risk factors and solutions 

(8 July 2023)

SOM CEO Nick Pahl said: “This new report outlines in detail why universal occupational health is so important in fighting burnout in healthcare. The NHS workforce plan’s aim is to reduce the overall leaver rate for NHS-employed staff from 9.1% (2022) to between 7.4% and 8.2% over the next 15 years. This can only occur by investing in occupational health – reversing burnout, tackling root causes, so that NHS staff can return to work well. SOM is committed to working with Government and the NHS to meet these challenges head-on.”


Professor Gail Kinman, the author of the report, said: “Burnout is an extremely serious matter that impacts workplaces across Britain, but it is a particular problem in healthcare settings. We know that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are more likely than most to experience burnout and therefore it is vitally important that we take urgent action. There are compelling reasons for organisations to support the wellbeing of their employees. This report, which brings together a wealth of research and findings, recommends the real and practical steps that they can take in the fight against burnout to ensure healthcare staff remain healthy and motivated and that recruitment and retention are improved.”

Download the report here.

Saving Welsh lives – BOHS Report

BOHS Saving-Welsh-Lives T1

(3 July 2023)


Acas recently launched new guidance on reasonable adjustments for mental health at work, and we have a brand-new podcast episode on the subject:

Guest speakers include Jo Yarker, Managing Partner at Affinity Health at Work; Julie Denning, Managing Director of Working To Wellbeing and Chair of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association, and Francoise Woolley, Acas Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing.

In the episode we discuss:

  • What are reasonable adjustments for mental health
  • Legal considerations
  • Supporting health and wellbeing at work

We also have a Reasonable Adjustments for Mental Health Toolkit with further useful assets and resources to help you promote our new guidance and research.  (3 July 2023)

NHS Long Term Workforce Plan

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan was published on 30 June 2023

To access the document click here.


ACAS – Guidance to support employers and employees with reasonable adjustments for mental health  (May 2023)

Acas are pleased to announce new guidance to support employers and employees with reasonable adjustments for mental health: as well as case studies exploring how different organisations have helped staff with mental health workplace adjustments.


NHS Employers  (February 2023)

NHS Employers have a selection of  resources on their website in relation to the menopause.  Here are some links:

Menopause and the workplace

Information on how menopause can affect people at work and practical guidance for employers on how to improve workplace environments for them.

Guidance on menopause at work

Improve the way you address menopause and work. The NHS Staff Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Group developed this guidance to support NHS organisations to improve the way they address menopause and work. This is complemented by principles for line managers and staff.

Menopause and the workplace webinar

A webinar which focused on how to support colleagues with menopause in the workplace.

Improving menopause support for staff: Sherwood Forest Hospital Foundation Trust

Case study on how Sherwood Forest Hospital Foundation improved its support for staff going through menopause.

NHS staff wellbeing needs poster

This resource highlights the importance of basic needs to help ensure our NHS people feel healthy at work.

National School of Occupational Health – Winter newsletter (November 2022)

RAND Europe:  Occupational Safety and Health – understanding decision making (November 2022)

The final report:  Occupational Safety and Health – understanding decision making, is now available on the RAND website:

SOM, British Society for Rheumatology and the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities:  The Musculoskeletal (MSK) Health Toolkit for employers and further education institutions  (October 2022)



SOM:  Long Covid and Return to Work – what works  (August 2022)

SOM: Long COVID and Return to Work – What Works (August 2022)

BSRM – Vocational Rehabilitation (revised guidelines – 26 July 2022)


Vocational Rehabilitation – BSRM brief guidance

Mental Health Group Survey in Association with Health and Wellbeing at Work Conference

v2 CFWH – Mental Health Group – Survey Results March 2022


NICE Workplace health quality standard (QS202) (SEPT 2021)

The NICE Workplace health quality standard has now been published on the NICE website.

Health and Wellbeing @ Work:  Mental health – Understanding the Human Experience:


Able Futures

Able Futures provides support to the people working and living with mental health difficulties, employers and providers of apprenticeships.

Able Futures is a nationwide specialist partnership set up to provide the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

BOHS mentoring programme

Please find below link to BOHS press release on the launch of a new mentoring programme (9 June 2020):

NICE guideline on Workplace health: long-term sickness absence and capability to work  

The guideline has now been published on the NICE website

Deborah Lee on mental health – leading the way and tackling stigma – podcast

To access this podcast please click here.

Eight elements of workplace wellbeing poster

The eight elements have been updated to support you in implementation of the new NHS Health and Wellbeing Framework.

To view the poster please click here.

NHS Health and Wellbeing Framework

The Health and Wellbeing Framework is an interactive document that makes the case for staff health and wellbeing, sets out clear actionable steps for each of the 14 areas and includes guidance on how organisations can plan and deliver a staff health and wellbeing strategy.

Work conversations in healthcare:  literature review

Please see the attached document from PHE.

The value of occupational health research

Please see the attached report from the Society of Occupational Medicine.

Bad for people, bad for business – when domestic abuse collides with the workplace

Please see the attached article written by Louise Aston (Business in the Community).


Academy of Medical Royal Colleges:

A report following the ‘Good Work is Good For You’ conference held on 9 April 2019:

Good Work Is Good For You – Academy Report

Macmillan:  Primary Care Top 10 Tips

This one-sider provides ten useful tips to support primary care professionals to have conversations with their patients about work and cancer and to signpost them to further support.  For further information click here.

Macmillan:  Work and Cancer – work support route guide

Our Work Support Route Guides help ensure professionals feel prepared to talk about work with people living with cancer and signpost them to further sources of support. Different versions are available for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  For further information click here.

2019 Healthcare Professionals’ Consensus Statement for Action:  Statement for Health and Work

Health and Work Consensus Statement

Remploy May Newsletter

Putting ability first

RoSPA – Taking UK OS&H forward

For further information please see the document below:


RoSPA – The ‘OS&H ripple effect’

For further information please see the document below:

RoSPA 24:7 safety

CIPD – Health at Wellbeing at Work – Survey report 2019

For further information please see the document below.

CIPD Survey report 2019

CIPD health-and-well-being-at-work-2019_tcm18-55881


Occupational Health:  The Global Evidence and Value

Report published by SOM in 2018.  To access the report click here.

BITC Toolkits

BiTC have a range of helpful toolkits.  To access the toolkits click here.

Doctor and colleague


WHO – Preventing Disease through a Healthier and Safer Workplace

The recent publication from WHO – Preventing Disease through a Healthier and Safer Workplaceprovides a comprehensive review of the key evidence linking diseases and injuries to occupational risks, estimates of the disease burden attributable to work together with examples of interventions that work.  To access the report click here.


The importance of health and work

The Health and Work infographics summarise important date to provide a snapshot of the health and work landscape at publication date (July 2018).  They are intended to enable national and local stakeholders to understand, make the case for, and take action on addressing health, work and worklessness.  To access the report and download the infographic files and references click here.

Improving lives: the future of work, health and disability

This paper sets out plans to transform employment prospects for disabled people and those with long-term health conditions over the next 10 years.  To access the paper click here.


Choosing Occupational Health as a career

The SOM has created a useful document to help those considering a career in occupational health.  For more information click here.

In addition, here is a YouTube video:  OH as a career