Dr Maze


regular comment for managers on workplace health issues

Complete Tolerance – Why Zero Tolerance is failing

 This is the last summary from the papers delivered at the Northern Ireland OH Update in 2005.

Walter Brennan, Independent Training Consultant & Expert Witness on Conflict Issues, Oliver Brennan Training Ltd, www.oliverbrennan.co.uk

Facts and Figures

The much vaunted Zero Tolerance campaign aimed at addressing violence in the NHS has made little difference to “shop floor” staff who feel no better protected now than they did before the Zero Tolerance Campaign was launched in 1999.

This is what they said:

  • They put posters up saying that we will do this and that and then when we are hit or attacked they do nothing! – Paul – a Porter
  • I was threatened with having my house torched and was told by my manager, I needed to be more caring! – Catherine – receptionist
  • The Police came and had a friendly chat with a woman who spat in my face and threw chairs around the waiting area – Carol – Junior Doctor

 A total of 221 NHS employees interviewed

  • 80 Nursing staff, 14 Junior Doctors, 12 Medical Students, 47 Porters, 68 Admin. Staff (Secretaries, Ward Clerks)
  • Staff worked in: GP Surgeries (28%), NHS Trusts (49%), Private Sector (23%)
  • Geographical areas: North Wales (4%), South Wales (11%), Scotland (13%), North of England (19%), South of England (53%)

 How much of a problem would you say violence is within your area of work?   Score 1=low, 5=Medium, 10= High

  • Nursing staff average score 8
  • Porters average score = 9
  • Admin. Staff average score = 5
  • Overall =scored an average of 7
  • North Wales scored average 6
  • South Wales scored average 7
  • North of England scored average7
  • Scotland scored average 9
  • South of England scored average of 8

If you have been attacked or hit how much positive support did you get from:

Colleagues (84%), Managers (1%), The Trust (3)%, The Police (8%), The Judiciary (none)

 If you were attacked tomorrow what positive support would you expect

Colleagues – 93%, Managers (2%), The Trust (None), The Police (2%), The Judiciary (none)

* Three respondents said they got no support from anybody!

 The problem with some managers

  • Send staff on training courses, but don’t go on the course themselves and then contradict what the staff have been told on training course
  • Haven’t got a clue about violence. They seem to be oblivious to the problem
  • Haven’t done a risk assessment into the hazard of violence
  • Take the aggressor’s side against their own staff!

 Problem with Some Trusts/Employers

  • Blame staff for being a victim
  • Don’t examine training courses for content and duration
  • Rarely prosecute on behalf of their staff
  • Much more concerned about patients or relatives complaining than about looking after their own staff
  • Fail to have in place formal support mechanisms for victims of violence

 Problem with the Police

  • Don’t appear to want to attend to incidents
  • Appear to feel Security staff should be dealing with violence
  • Often advise staff that prosecution will not work because they were not in control of their bodily functions!
  • Appear to advise staff that Crown Prosecution Service will throw the case out so arrest and prosecution is pointless

 Problem with the Judiciary

  • Appear to be badly informed
  • Appear to continue to view violence against NHS staff as an occupational hazard
  • Appear to be reluctant to punish offenders
  • Appear not to understand that verbal abuse is also an act of violence as defined by the Zero Tolerance Campaign in 1999

 The problem with training

  • Training rarely linked to risk assessment and training needs
  • No standard training course
  • No standard requirement for trainers
  • No clear guidance on the use of physical interventions
  • Not enough done to make policy awareness a training issue
  • None or little inclusion in helping staff to cope with being a victim

 The way forward

  • Re-launch the Zero Tolerance Campaing and give it a new name e.g. – SAFE ENOUGH TO CARE
  • Provide training courses for Magistrates, Judges, Crown Prosecution Service
  • Provide training courses for Police
  • Provide a 1 day training course especially for managers  and include:
  • How to do a risk assessment for violence
  • How to put in place formal support mechanisms for staff affected by violence
  • Emphasise a duty of care to staff by providing case law of Civil cases or Employment Tribunals where managers have failed to execute their duty of care to staff

 Training Courses

Minimum of one day

Ensure trainers are trained to train. They should have a professional qualification

They should have a good working knowledge of:

  • – Violence
  • – Trigger factors
  • – Legal/ethical issues
  • – Self awareness
  • – Defusion skills
  • – Verbal abuse
  • – Break a way skills
  • – Restraint skills (where identified)
  • – Critical Incident Debriefing

Courses need to have a competence assessment for participants 

Filed under: Uncategorized

Fit for work – What does it mean?

Here is the outline of my lecture last week. Hopefully it will help you to make best use of your business OH resource.

What  we need to consider:

  • Purpose of medical standards/guidance
  • Job description
  • Employee’s medical condition
  • Scope for job modification
  • Legal compliance
  • Business Protection /Reputation Protection /Loss Control

If we get it wrong:

  • Sickness Absence
  • Accidents
  • Legal & Insurance Claims
  • Poor Decision Making
  • Poor Customer Service
  • Difficult Working Relationships
  • Low Morale & High Staff Turnover
  • Low Productivity & Poor Quality
  • Lack of Innovation & Creativity

Costs of ill health to the employer:

  • Sick pay, pension fund contributions if IHR
  • Recruiting, training, assessing replacement
  • Management and investigation of absence
  • Insurance, litigation and compensation
  • Loss of experienced and skilled staff
  • Low morale

Costs of ill health to the employee:

  • Physical and mental pain and distress
  • Financial loss short/long term
  • Possible career loss
  • Loss of social standing and interaction
  • Loss of daily/weekly structure

“Fit” – to do what?

  • Attend/Handle Pressure?
  • See/Listen/Talk?
  • Sit/Stand/Walk?
  • Think/plan/Make decisions?

 The referring manager should:

  • provide a Job Description that lists the activities and tasks of the role
  • clearly and realistically distinguish between essential vs non-essential elements
  • indicate the scope for job modification
  • indicate the scope for alternative roles/redeployment

 Do the Job Tasks involve:

  • Standing / Walking/ Lifting / Carrying
  • Confined Spaces /Climbing Ladders / Working at Heights
  • Chemicals / Biological Agents
  • Skin or Respiratory  Irritants / Sensitisers
  • Dangerous Machinery / Vibrating Tools
  • Dust or Fumes
  • DSE  / Computer Work / Prolonged Sitting
  • Travel  – UK or Abroad / Vocational Driving
  • Work Pressure / Demanding Job

Legal compliance:

  • The legal position of medical standards
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Human Rights Act
  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management Regs 1999
  • Working Time Regs
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Employment Rights Act 1996
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Maternity & parental leave Regulations
  • Pension schemes
  • Common law (Personal Injury Claims)
  • Relevant Case Law

Disability Discrimination:

  • Who decides? – Employment Tribunal; OH can only offer a tentative opinion
  • Definition of disability
  • Direct and indirect discrimination
  • Conflict with other legislation – H&S and criminal law have precedence
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Disability related discrimination
  • When does the DDA not apply?

Individual variation:

  • Individual assessment
  • Risk assessment
  • Tolerance of symptoms
  • Reasonable adjustments

An Acceptable Risk?

You have to weigh up:

  • Cost of sickness absence
  • Cost of training vs loss of performance
  • Cost of medical support or assessment
  • Cost of IHR or injury awards
  • Opportunities for redeployment
  • Pressure to avoid IHR or reduce sickness absence

What can OH assessment offer? At:

  • Recruitment
  • Absence
  • Rehabilitation after absence
  • Health surveillance
  • Health promotion
  • Retirement


  • Know workplace
  • Assess job requirements
  • Liase with management
  • Establish standards
  • Review health declarations
  • Examine as required
  • Advise on disability
  • Advise on job adjustments

Sickness Absence

  •  Early meaningful advice helps; so refer early, rather than late
  •  Early intervention
  •  Influence early return (employee, health providers, manager)
  •  Remove the barriers to resuming work
  •  Managed rehabilitation
  •  Focus on ability not disability
  •  Functional ability assessments
  •  Adjustment assessments (DDA)
  •  Identify IHR cases early
  •  Case Conferences (Attendance Reviews)
  •  Review patterns
  •  Consider policies
  •  Agree parameters
  •  Assess referrals
  •  Liaise with GP/specialist
  •  Submit reports
  •  Monitor & review
  •  Case conferences
  •  Job modification
  •  Graduated return to work

Rehabilitation after absence

  • Assess
  • Investigate
  • Functional evaluation
  • Intervention
  • Co-operation

Health Surveillance

  • Identify risks
  • Education
  • Screening
  • Modification of exposure
  • Monitor & review
  • Risks:
    • Noise
    • Lead
    • Ionising radiations
    • Asbestos
    • Driving
    • Diving
    • Manual handling
    • Heights
    • Shifts
    • Allergens

 Health Promotion may influence attendance at work

  • Identify target population
  • Identify issues
  • Coronary risks / Mental health / Musculoskeletal / Diet
  • Screening
  • Workplace / Consultations / Courses / Ad hoc
  • Education
  • Leaflets / Reports / Special campaigns
  • Referrals


  • Know pension regulations
  • Company policies
  • Criteria
  • Assess
  • Diagnosis
  • Reports from GP/specialist
  • Review treatment
  • Prognosis
  • Advice to management
  • Job adjustments
  • Monitor & review
  • Recommendation

Types of Referrals & Reports

  • Referral to Occupational Health
  • Referral to Occupational Physician
  • Referral to Specialist
  • Reports from GPs
  • Reports from Specialist

When To Refer

  • Sickness and Absence
  • Recurrent short spells of absence causing commercial concern
  • Prolonged sickness and absence
  • Combination of both
  • Fitness for Work
  • Report After Accident at Work
  • Before Job Transfer / Modification / Promotion
  • Suspicion that health may be impacting on work performance.
  • Suspected Alcohol or Drug Misuse

 Referring manager should provide:

  • Date when sickness absence commenced
  • Attendance record
  • Diagnosis on medical certificate (if known)
  • Other relevant information, particularly if the employee is unlikely to mention it
  • Specific requests

 What managers should ask

  • Is the employee fit to undertake their current role?
  • If the individual were not fit to fulfil their role, would adjusted duties or temporary redeployment apply?
  • Is the performance significantly affected by ill health and how long is this likely to continue?
  • Is the ill health work-related?
  • Likely date of return to work?
  • Is the employee likely to render reliable service in the future?
  • Is it likely that an employment tribunal would consider that this case falls within the scope of the Disability Discrimination Act and if so what adjustments should be considered?
  • If the individual is not fit to return, is ill health retirement appropriate?

What NOT to ask

  • What is the precise medical diagnosis? You need to know what he can/can’t do.
  • Can we fire this skiver?
  • If the individual is not fit to return, is ill health retirement appropriate?
  • What treatment is this person on?
  • GP says he’s not fit, but we need him to do xyz, can you make him fit?

Reports requested by OH from treating doctors

  • Request a medical report on the present condition and further information on:
  • Guidance on a diagnosis
  • Progress of the current condition
  • Any current residual disability
  • Ongoing medical review &/or treatment
  • Sight of appropriate specialist reports relating to the current condition
  • Any further advice that we can give the company, such as a rehabilitation programme
  • Likely return to work date

 Management Reports

These are advice to the manager on medical capability and should not contain personal medical information.  They should give advice/opinion on whether:

  • the employee is fit to work in their contractual/current role,  in a restricted role (list adjustments required) or is unfit for all work at present (if possible, estimate date for return to work)
  • the employee is permanently incapacitated [recommend ill health retirement]
  • a rehabilitation programme is recommended (give details)
  • the employee needs treatment/review by a physiotherapist/counsellor/specialist
  • the company should consider funding this referral or whether the employee should seek referral via his GP
  • a medical report was requested from the employee”s GP/Specialist
  • the ill health is likely to be work related
  • there is/is not an underlying ill health problem that may affect future performance
  • the employee has have a disability that is likely to be considered to fall within the scope of the Disability Discrimination Act
  • a risk assessment should be undertaken (give details)
  • a further review is necessary (when?)

Fit For Work? – Over To You!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Role of the Occupational Health Department in Absence Management and Rehabilitation

Another of the NI Update lectures

 Dr Leslie Hawkins

 Absence management

Facts & figures: CIPD survey July 2005

  • Analysis based on 1110 organisations & over 2.9m people
  • Average cost is £588 per employee per year
  • Most important cause is minor illness; 61% – 5 days
  • Manual workers – back pain
  • Non-manual workers – stress

Absence management policies

  • 87% organisations have absence management policies
  • Return to work interviews are regarded as the most effective method of managing short term absence
  • Involving OH is seen as most effective tool for managing long term absence

What is rehabilitation?

  • An approach whereby those who have a health condition, injury or disability are helped to access, maintain or return to employment – DW&P 2003
  • Is a process that, for the client, should develop better life quality, vigour, knowledge, capacity for coping with disease and recognition of opportunities and limitations – K E Anderson in Practical Ethics in OH 2004
  • Occupational rehabilitation is the process of assisting employees back into the workplace following injury or illness whether  it is work related or not – Hughes 2004

Why Rehabilitation?

  • Financial
    • Reduces costs
    • Reduces claims
  • Moral
    • Return someone to where they want to be, usually to where they were before the accident or illness
  • Legal
    • Management of Health & Safety at work 1999 Reg 6 Health Surveillance
  • HSC’s strategy 2010 & beyond – to work with stakeholders to strengthen the role of H & S to getting people back to work through much greater emphasis on rehabilitation

Government statistics

  • 1995 – 27,000 people forced to give up work
  • Each week – 3000 people move from SSP to Incapacity Benefit (IB)
  • 90% on IB believe they will return to work
  • 5:1 odds against returning to work

Research & Pilot studies

  • Job retention & vocational rehabilitation: the development of a conceptual framework. (James & Cunningham 03: HSE 106)
  • The Job Retention and Rehabilitation Pilot DW&P 02-04
  • Developing a framework for vocational rehabilitation. A discussion paper DW&P May 04

Case study

  • British Telecom v Pelling (May 2004)
  • YET
  • PersonnelToday 07.09.04
  • BT boasts 8000 home-workers, 70% of their 90K workforce working flexibly

Principles of Rehabilitation

  • Policy
  • Commitment of stakeholders
  • Eligibility criteria & support
  • Budget & resources
  • Commitment to confidentiality
  • Accountability
  • Dispute strategy
  • Early contact
  • Referral to OH
  • Developing an agreed rehabilitation plan
  • Support with therapeutic interventions
  • Flexible return to work – recuperative duties
  • Work adaptations or adjustments

Those involved

  • Employee
  • Line Manager
  • OH
  • Therapeutic services e.g. physiotherapists, ergonomists, counsellors

OH role

  • Referral process
  • Referral circumstances
  • Serious &/or long term medical conditions
  • Stress related problems
  • MSDs
  • Work related illness or injury
  • Frequent periods of absence
  • Assessment of the individual
  • Identifying health problem
  • Obtaining further medical information
  • Length of absence or likely return to work
  • Residual disability
  • ? DDA applies
  • ? Restricted duties long or short term
  • Ongoing treatment e.g. physiotherapy, medication
  • Review of refer?
  • Assessment of the workplace
  • Risk assessment or “job analysis”
  • Focus on capabilities and not disabilities
  • Travel to and from work
  • Access & egress in emergencies

Advising on “recuperative duties”

  • Points to consider
  • Reasons for length of absence
  • Acute or chronic condition
  • GP/specialist opinion
  • Job analysis
  • “Psychological” fitness
  • Employee attitude
  • Travel arrangements or home working
  • Company policy or insurers conditions for payments

Tolley”s recommendations for reduced hours

  • >16 hours per week and >4 hours per day
  • Agreed gradual increase over 6-8 weeks
  • Rehab treatment outside these working hours
  • OH review progress

Prevention is always better than cure, however there will always be the need for rehabilitating the sick and injured employee

References & bibliography

  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2004) Employee absence 2004: a survey of management policy and practice http://www.cipd.co.uk
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2004) Absence Management fact sheet http://www.cipd.co.uk
  • Walters M (2005) One stop guide: Absence Management http://www.personneltoday.com
  • HSE (2004) Managing absence and return to work: an employers and managers guide HSG249
  • Waddell G, Burton A K (2004) Concepts of Rehabilitation for the management of common health problems, London: TSO
  • Hughes V et al (2004) Tolleys Guide to Employee Rehabilitation, Lexis Nexis UK
  • Better Routes to Redress http://www.brtf.gov.uk
  • P James et al (2003) Job retention and vocational rehabilitation: The Development and evaluation of a conceptual framework, HSE Contract Research Report 106
  • Department for Work and Pensions (2004) Building Capacity for Work: a UK Framework for Vocational Rehabilitation http://www.dwp.gov.uk
  • Access to work, information for employers Ref No:DS4JP July 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized

Managing Return to Work – Northern Ireland 2005

Joan Lewis,  MCIPD,MA (Law & Employment Relations)

Legal considerations

  • Employment Rights Act 1996
  • Capability a potentially fair reason for dismissal
  • Fair procedures needed
  • Impact of new dispute resolution procedures

Practical issues relating to dispute resolution

  • Employee objects to having health issues treated as a problem
  • Standard and modified procedures
  • Any proposed sanction is appealable
  • Employee has the right to raise a grievance

Disability issues

  • Risk of overlap between disability discrimination and dealing with ill-health
  • Justification and the amended Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Paul v National Probation Service

A safe place for the returner

  • HASWA effect
  • Dorset Hospital case
  • Risk assessment for existing job
  • Employee employed to do a job!
  • Glitz v Watford Electric Co

The Lynock approach

  • Nature of  illness
  • Likelihood of recurrence/other illness
  • Length of/spaces between absences
  • Need for job to be done
  • Others carrying the load
  • Even-handed policy
  • Clarification of issues to employee

Lynock applied

  • Review & compare absence records
  • Check HR contacts
  • ? medical report re special needs?
  • Meeting or home visit
  • Consider domestic factors
  • ? ergonomic assessment?
  • Employee participation in risk assessment
  • The nature of the illness
  • Freer Bouskell and claustrophobia
  • Recurrence & reliance on key person
  • Taylorplan v McInally
  • Length of absences & pattern/consistency
  • Does employee return or leave
  • Variation of terms
  • Impact on others & involve team in return-to-work assessment
  • Deal with regular workers resentment
  • The ultimate choice
  • East Daubney v Lindsay – consult
  • Bliss v S E Thames RHA
  • No co-operation = end of the line

 The OH burden

The overall test is still the conduct of the reasonable and prudent employer, taking positive thought for the safety of his workers in the light of what he knows or ought to know; where there is developing knowledge, he must keep reasonably abreast of it and not be too slow to apply it; if he has fallen below the standard – he is negligent.

Stokes v GKN (Bolts and Nuts) Ltd [1968]1WLR 1776

Filed under: Uncategorized

Legal Implications for Occupational Health Professionals

Notes from one of the other lectures at the NI OH update meeting.

 Legal Implications for Occupational Health Professionals

 Siobhan Donnelly, Lawyer/Safety Consultant

 How much law to impart?

  • What should I do I am being bullied?
  • I was suspended pending investigation, where to now?
  • My arms are still sore should I still be fitting blinds?
  • I know paint fumes are escaping from booths will I get asthma?
  • Do you think I should sue?

 Your dilemma

  • Commence Bullying investigation?
  • GP if medical issues, do not enter legal boxing ring.
  • Consultant re Repetitive strain, do not fear referral
  • Fear of developing condition can be psychological damage, initiate inspection
  • See a solicitor or you could be sued!


  • OH objectives: Policy
  • Risk assessment/risk control: Planning
  • OH management programme
  • Structure training awareness competence consultation emergency
  • Checking and corrective action
  • Management review

 Customer’s perspective

  • Fitness
  • Hazards
  • Promotion
  • Exposure
  • Communication
  • Research
  • Law
  • Management

 Beart v HM Prison – applies to you

  • Wrongful demotion, depressed never returned to work
  • Illness a disability
  • Private investigator, report wrongfully refused
  • Court held evidence re relocation or redeployment would have succeeded
  • Prison: already thought so badly of Beart felt justified in not accepting medical advice!
  • OH report: unlikely to recover until employment issues resolved, suggested redeployment.
  • OH report: unlikely to recover until employment issues resolved, suggested redeployment.
  • OH blamed by Prison as no prognosis given therefore could not reasonably redeploy ongoing illness
  • Held: No attempt at reasonableness under DDA

 Stress and Bullying

  • Barber v Somerset County Council
  • Managing Stress: Why you?
  • Hartman v South Essex mental Health CC Trust
  • Who manages your stress?
  • You know I am being bullied don”t you?

 Evaluation of OH

  • More aware physical hazards
  • Advice helped with day to day workloads
  • No difference in number of symptoms reported
  • Significant number of GP visits reduced


Health and Safety awareness needed:

  • For Patient benefit
  • For Self protection

Think legal agenda

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) and Agenda for Change (AfC)

Ursula Doherty, AfC Unit, DHSSPS

Agenda for Change and the KSF

The HR Challenge for 2005 is in implementing Agenda for Change – the new integrated pay and learning system for all staff.  My wish is that this should be successful, to the benefit of staff and patients alike. Andrew Foster, Director of Human Resources, DOH in People Management

 The Vision – Six of the highest ranking employee needs*:

  •  Understanding what is expected in the job:

Clear information about how each post fits into the wider NHS/HPSS structure and about the knowledge and skills required from new recruits and experienced staff members in each role – with specific examples of how these should be applied.

  • Opportunities to “do what I do best”

The opportunity to demonstrate and discuss personal strengths and aspirations and to explore how these talents can be unlocked and developed within current or future roles

  • Encouragement of development:

A universal recognition that all staff are entitled to development opportunities either within their current posts or help for them to achieve career development – and that managers and organisations have a duty to support this principle

  • Regular reviews of progress

Structured feedback using an objective framework for all staff to enable any difficulties to be identified and resolved  before they become major problems.  The opportunity for staff to highlight their own development needs

  • Co-workers committed to quality

The knowledge that everyone will be expected to fulfil the requirements of their post, including the core dimensions and that action will be taken to ensure that this happens 

  • Opportunities to learn & grow

A culture which allows people to develop flexibly as individuals, recognising that there are many alternative career pathways and timescales, and that skills and knowledge can be acquired in many ways and are often transferable

How can the KSF help?

  • A KSF Outline for every post
  • A Development Review at least once a year
  • A Personal Development Plan
  • Support in fulfilling the PDP
  • Access to KSF Outlines at recruitment and in career planning
  • Focussed Development for Everyone

Purpose – The KSF is designed to

  • support the development of individuals in their current post
  • support career progression
  • facilitate the development of better services

What it is:

  • Defines and describes the Knowledge and Skills that HPSS staff need to apply to their work in order to deliver quality services
  • Provides a framework on which to base the review and development of all staff
  • Applicable and transferable across NHS/HPSS

What it is not:

  • It does not seek to describe what people are like or their particular attributes
  • It does not describe the exact knowledge and skills that people need to develop
  • It does not determine job weight or pay band


  • KSF Post Outlines – set out the dimensions and levels that apply to a post
  • Dimensions ­- broad functions that are required to provide a quality service
  • Level Descriptors ­- each dimension has 4 levels, a level descriptor is simply the title of each level
  • Indicators – describe how knowledge and skills need to be applied at that level
  • Examples of Application – show how the KSF might be applied in different posts
  • Gateways – defined points where decisions are made about pay progression as well as development

Structure of the KSF – 30 Dimensions

6 of which are core and apply to every post

  • Communication
  • Personal and People Development
  • Health, Safety and Security
  • Service Improvement
  • Quality
  • Equality and Diversity

24 of which are specific, a selection of which will apply to each post

  • Health and Well-being (10 dimensions)
  • Estates and Facilities (3 dimensions)
  • Information and Knowledge (3 dimensions)
  • General (8 dimensions)

Example of Specific Dimensions

  • HWB 7 – Interventions and Treatments
  • EF2 – Environments and Buildings
  • IK2 – Information collection and analysis
  • G5 – Services and Project Management


  • The KSF must be fully implemented for all staff by December 2006 with all gateways fully operational
  • Outlines and Development Review therefore needs to be in place by December 2005
  • All HPSS organisations have KSF Leads and an implementation plan
  • KSF Outlines are being developed and shared via the National Library
  • The e-ksf tool has been designed specifically for the NHS/HPSS
  • KSF web pages

The KSF provides a structure for development

  • but users need skills to have PDP discussions and identify learning needs and plans
  • the organisation needs policies about how to implement and embed the KSF
  • and the organisational culture needs to embrace change and value learning and development

So what will this mean for the NHS/HPSS?

  • Better recruitment
  • Better retention
  • Better morale
  • Better productivity
  • Better quality

Filed under: Uncategorized

Northern Ireland OH Update

Today, I had the opportunity to attend the Northern Ireland Occupational Health Update 2005 organized by IRS/LexisNexis.I’ll post my notes on this over the next week or so, but for now, here are the lecture titles to whet your appetitite.

Siobhan Donnelly: Keynote Lecture – Stress and bullying in Northern Ireland

Walter Brennan: Dealing with violence at work

Trevor Maze: Fit for work

Joan Lewis: Managing return to work

Greta Thornbury: Sickness absence and rehabilitation

Ursula Doherty: Knowledge Skills Framework and Agenda for Change



Filed under: Uncategorized

First Posting

Well, after many false starts, I finally got this blog up and running. It will take another week or two before it is exactly as I want it. Please be patient.

So who am I?  My name is Trevor Maze and I”ve been an occupational physician for some 11 years. And what exactly is that? Occupational physicians (OPs) are medical doctors who specialize in work-related health issues. Where an employee’s health affects his/her work or vice versa, we provide management with advice on managing the employee within the workplace, including job modifications, special precautions, rehabilitation after absence and, if necessary, early retirement on ill health grounds. If you continue to read this blog, you will begin to see how this works.

Occupational medicine in the British Isles is a post-graduate specialty and most OPs have previously specialized in another branch of medicine such as general family practice, dermatology or respiratory medicine. In my case, it was anaesthetics (anesthesiology to those of you from the USA).

My aim is to help you understand the basics of occupational health and how to use it in your business. I’ll do this by discussing research, actual examples (disguised to protect the innocent), and questions submitted by readers such as yourself. I’ll also reference reliable sources of help and advice, so that you can check things out for yourself. I’ll also reference reliable sources of help and advice, so that you can check things out for yourself.

Please feel free to email your questions to me.

Filed under: Uncategorized