Category Archives: News

ACPOHE:   Fit Note resources developed by ACPOHE

(October 2023)

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).

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


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.

Question Time Webinar: 18 October 2023 from 1215-1315 – Video available now!

We held our latest panel webinar on 18th October and attached is the video for your information.

SEQOHS standards have been revised and launched in June 2023. With only weeks to go before they go live, we will be discussing with our panel, the relevance of SEQOHS standards in a multi-professional speciality, the drivers to become SEQOHS accredited, what the future holds for the quality scheme and is it the answer to elevating quality in the speciality. Join us live or register via the link below to get access to the recording afterwards.

Please do share this with your members and colleagues. 


Council4WH Panel Webinar (2)

Statement: Occupational Health Qualifications and Titles (FOHN / NSOH)

The Faculty of Occupational Health Nursing and the National School of Occupational Health have launched a statement on Occupational Health Qualification and Titles so as to clarify the various education pathways and qualifications for occupational nurses, as well as the commonly used titles and their significance.

View the statement on our website

If you have any feedback then please contact either Christina Butterworth or Janet O’Neill

27 September 2023

“Understanding Recent Trends in Ill-Health Driven Fallout from the UK Job Market” 25 September 2023

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.”



Notes to Editors


For more information, contact:


Alan Grant (Account Manager, Orbit Communications) – / 0783 320 9171


Rachel Goddard (Account Director, Orbit Communications) – / 0770 216 9485


About SOM

The Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) is the organisation for healthcare professionals working in or with an interest in occupational health. It is concerned with:

  • the protection of the health of people in the workplace
  • the prevention of occupational injuries and disease
  • related environmental issues.

SOM stimulates research and works with the government, the healthcare community, health charities and other bodies to promote a healthier workforce. It also acts as the voice of occupational health (OH), responding to consultative documents and media enquiries. A national leader in providing continued professional development and education for all healthcare professionals working in OH, it is a forum for the exchange of ideas, best practice, and networking opportunities.


Visit for more information.


SOM: Occupational Health Awareness Week: 18-24 September 2023

SOM:  Occupational Health Awareness Week – Monday 18  – Friday 24 September 2023
The focus of the week is to provide resources for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who are five times less likely to use occupational health (OH) than large businesses – to better inform SMEs of the role and value of OH.
SOM has produced a 15-minute and 2-minute film that introduces OH to SMEs at, while COHPA is publishing a new Guide to OH for SMEs.
Please put this on your website and do share!
These free resources are available for all to use, distribute and share, to promote on social media or to your clients. For information and free resources (such as posters) for council for work and health members, visit here and here

Occupational Health Awareness Week 2023 (18-24 September)

SOM and COHPA are once again joining forces to promote occupational health to a broader audience through Occupational Health Awareness Week 2023, which will run from 18-24th September.

The focus of this year’s OHAW will be providing resources for the OH sector to better engage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who are 5 times less likely to have OH support than large businesses. Our aim is to support the OH sector to better inform SMEs of the role and value of occupational health.

SOM and COHPA will both be launching new pages on their websites for SME audiences. SOM is producing a 15-minute film that introduces OH to SMEs, while COHPA is publishing a new Guide to OH for SMEs. These resources will be available for all in the OH sector to use, distribute and share, and will be tailored to an audience of SME business owners, managers and HR leads. SOM and COHPA will also be launching a new short-film (2-mins) to promote OH to SMEs, which will be promoted on social media via a digital marketing campaign.

Another aspect of this year’s OHAW will be training and recruitment, with a 5-part blog series focused on driving the pipeline of human resources in occupational health.

Events and activities in and around OHAW include:

Last year there was a significant buzz on social media during OHAW and we would encourage all SOM and COHPA members to join the conversation again this year on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. The hashtags this year will be #ohaw2023 and #occupationalhealthawareness, and a suggested content calendar and graphics will be circulated in advance of OHAW.

Major Conditions Strategy Case for Change and Strategy Framework

We are pleased to share that the Case for Change and Strategic Framework (previously known as the interim report) has now been published, and can be accessed via the following link:

In January, we announced our plan to publish the Major Conditions Strategy. The strategy will explore how we can tackle the key drivers of ill-health in England, reduce pressure on the NHS and reduce ill-health related labour market inactivity. To deliver on these objectives, the strategy will focus on tackling the six major conditions groups – cancer, mental health, cardiovascular disease (including stroke and diabetes), dementia, chronic respiratory diseases, and musculoskeletal disorders – that account for around 60% of ill-health and early death in England.

The Case for Change and Strategic Framework sets out our approach towards the final report. It sets out the challenges of a modern health and care system in this country and how we are already addressing some of these through prevention, early diagnosis, early intervention, and quality of treatment and living with long term conditions. This strategic framework provides a lens for how we might tackle six major groups of conditions contributing to the highest burden of disease combined and separately, and what more needs to be done to support the ongoing transition to a health and care system in England that is both more preventative and more personalised.  We also look at cross cutting enablers including, digital technology and innovation, research and leadership.

On the 17th May we launched our Call for Evidence to inform the development of the Major Conditions Strategy by gathering views and ideas on how to prevent, diagnose, treat, and manage the groups of major conditions which contribute to ill-health and early death in England. We received over 4,000 responses and are currently analysing these. Our intention is to publish the Major Conditions Strategy in early 2024 informed by the responses.

Burnout in healthcare: risk factors and solutions

SOM has published Burnout in healthcare: risk factors and solutions which details the steps needed to help combat the condition, found to be rife in healthcare.

Drawing on research data from a wide variety of sources, the report found that those working in healthcare, such as doctors, nurses and care workers, are particularly prone to experiencing burnout.

According to the 2022 NHS workforce survey, more than a third of healthcare staff report feel burned-out at work, with staff in clinical roles found to be most vulnerable. Further data shows that 54 percent of doctors displayed signs of emotional exhaustion and nearly 40 percent of nurses ‘often’ or ‘always’ felt burned-out at work.

Burnout is not a medical condition, but a state of physical and emotional exhaustion caused by excessive, prolonged, and untreated interpersonal workplace stress. It occurs when individuals become emotionally exhausted, cynical, and disengaged from the job and feel a sense of ineffectiveness and loss of purpose. It can have wide-ranging damaging effects on workers’ health, job performance and quality of life and is extremely costly for the healthcare sector.

The thoroughly evidenced report recommends primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions throughout the healthcare sector to protect employees against burnout and enable those returning from absence because of the condition to do so effectively and safely.

  • Primary level interventions are those that tackle the root causes of burnout. It is crucial to ensure workload is manageable, adequate support is available, leadership is compassionate, inclusive, and ethical and staff are recognised and rewarded for their work and achievements. Training managers to support the wellbeing of their staff, identify early signs of burnout and encourage help-seeking are also particularly important.
  • Secondary level interventions focus on improving people’s ability to cope with the challenging aspects of their roles. Particularly effective strategies include enhancing opportunities for peer support, promoting self-compassion and self-care, providing training in a range of stress management tools, and helping staff maintain a healthy balance between their work and personal life.
  • Tertiary level interventions focus on treatment and encourage a safe and healthy return to work. These include taking a person-centred approach to identifying the factors that contributed to burnout and taking appropriate steps to address them.

With burnout being such a pressing issue in healthcare, occupational health, the specialist and expert field of health and wellbeing at work, will be a crucial part of the solution.


The UK is in a fortunate position, with specially trained occupational health professionals, but more investment is needed to expand this workforce through the newly announced workforce plan. SOM is calling for universal occupational health access and will continue to press for more provision until everyone, whether they work in healthcare or in other industries, has the coverage they need to be healthy and happy at work.


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.

July 2023