Occupational healthcare services for the NHS workforce – what can we do better?
Authors: Chambers, Ruth; Smith, Gill
Source: Clinician in Management, Volume 10, Number 2, 1 June 2001 , pp. 85-90(6)
Publisher: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd.
Abstract:We aimed to ascertain what occupational health services were available to NHS staff in one county by comparing employees' and managers' perspectives.
Twenty interviews were conducted with ten managers from each of the two health authorities and eight NHS trusts and two each of general practitioners, practice managers, dentists, optometrists and pharmacists. A total of 440 subjects were randomly selected from the NHS workforce of Staffordshire. A postal survey established their knowledge of access and availability of occupational health services. Response rates varied between 72% and 53% from the NHS organisations and disciplines in the primary, community and secondary care sectors.
The extent and range of occupational health services for staff working in primary care were patchy or nonexistent. The range of services available to those working for health authorities and NHS trusts appeared to be comprehensive; but approximately two-thirds of their employees did not know what services were available, nor did half know how to access them.
Significant resources and expertise will be needed to establish the necessary culture and infrastructure in primary care to ensure that comprehensive occupational health services are available to all staff.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2001