NHS focus on OH care

first_imgGovernment looks to OH provision within NHS as retention strategyHealth Secretary Alan Milburn has called for an OH service for the NHS,togive its hard-pressed staff a better quality of working life. Speaking at the London School of Economics Health Lecture last month,Milburn said, “Healthcare is one of the biggest knowledge-based sectors ofthe economy and we cannot afford to lose highly skilled staff. “I am examining how we can improve occupational health care servicesfor our own employees whether in the primary, community or secondary caresectors.” Milburn also called for more NHS trust OH departments to provide services tosmall- and medium-sized employers – “an NHS Plus, if you like”, hesaid. “Private employers will be able to free up the £1bn-plus theycurrently spend on staff private health insurance, for more effective workforcehealth interventions of the sort that NHS Plus might provide.” TUC senior policy officer Owen Tudor said, “The Secretary of State hasheld up a prospect of radical transformation of the way the NHS deals withoccupational health.” “I have not heard health ministers talking in this way before and if itis an example of joined-up government working together then it is tremendouslyexciting.” RCN OH adviser Carol Bannister pointed out that NHS OH departments have beenunder pressure to gain outside contracts in order to justify their existence.This can mean OH staff are over-stretched and employees have a diluted service,she said. The Health and Safety Commission will publish proposals this month onmodernising occupational health to make it better suited to the needs of small-and medium-sized businesses. www.doh.gov.uk/speeches/index.htm NHS focus on OH careOn 1 Apr 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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