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Health is everyone's business consultation

The Government has published Health is everyone’s business, a public consultation seeking views on different ways in which government and employers can take action to reduce ill health-related job loss.

Each year more than 100,000 people leave their job following a period of sickness absence lasting at least four weeks. Offering flexibility, early support and occupational health advice are the key to successful retention in the workplace. We know that many employers already see the case to invest in health and wellbeing. But some, particularly smaller ones, might not have the knowledge or time to support their employees with health conditions, even when they want to. The Government’s consultation seeks to address these challenges as is focussed on four main areas:

  1.  Amending the legal framework to encourage early action to support individuals when they are absent from work and to facilitate more conversations to agree effective workplace modifications;
  2. Reforming of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) so that it is better enforced, more flexible, and support the lowest paid employees;
  3. Measures to improve availability of high-quality, cost-effective occupational health (OH) services for employers; and
  4. Improving advice and support from government for employers to understand and act on their responsibilities.

 We need your help

You can help shape future plans in this exciting area by accessing the consultation via this link, which will be open until 7th October 2019. Your views will be invaluable in helping Government to understand the implications of any reforms and how any potential changes can be best implemented in the future. This will be vital in ensuring Government provides employers and employees with the most effective support going forward.   

 Want to find out more?

Please join officials from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care, in an interactive discussion on the consultation on:  




Link to Eventbrite

Manchester AM


09:00 – 11:00

29 August

KPMG - St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 3AE

Manchester pm


12:00 - 14.00



29 August

KPMG - St Peter's Square, Manchester M2 3AE



12/9/19 08:30- 10:30


Royal College of Occupational Therapist



08:30 – 12:00

University of Sheffield



08:30 – 10:30

University of South Wales



08:30 – 10:30

11:30 – 13:30

Victoria Quay




11:00 to 13:00


Folkestone JCP



11:00 – 13:00


University of South Wales



09:00 – 11:00





12:00 – 14:00

 These events have been designed to:

  •  Deepen your understanding of Government’s role in this agenda
  • Give you the chance to discuss the potential changes with other businesses in your area


Physio UK 2019

ACPOHE  IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF PHYSIOUK 2019 THIS YEAR Birmingham ICC   01-02 November 2019

ACPOHE were asked to facilitate  the theme of Fit for work for Physio UK 2019 and were delighted to do so.

Conference themes for Physiotherapy UK-2019 and they are: 

  • Fit for Work :This theme explores how the management of musculoskeletal, mental health and long-term conditions are keeping the working population fit, active, healthy and at work. This theme is delivered in partnership with the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics (ACPOHE)
  • Innovation in Rehabilitation : This theme explores innovative approaches in rehabilitation, including how advances in technology allow services and practice to be redesigned, delivering better patient outcomes and experience. 
  • Managing Complexity: In the UK population more people are presenting with more complex health problems and multi-morbidities. As this trend accelerates, this theme explores how physiotherapists are responding to the challenges and how practice is evolving in response  
  •  The Next Generation : This theme looks at the advances in physiotherapy for children and young people which are enabling participation and activity for all. 

Health and Wellbeing at Work 2020 – we need your help

ACPOHE has been approached by the event organisers off the Health and Wellbeing At Work to see if any of our members would be interested in presenting at the very popular H&WB@Work 2020

They are specifically looking for content to align with the MSD and Pain Management programme and also the Ergonomics programme:

  • recent examples of best practice and innovation
  • behaviour change strategies would be good i.e. increasing physical activity in the workplace, reducing sedentary behaviour – not just a how to but examples of companies who have actually done this
  • anything around pain management strategies in the workplace
  • an emphasis on returning employees to the workplace – case management, rehab strategies, adaptations including ergonomic equipment for MSK conditions
  • case studies from industries – delegates have commented that they would like to see more from industries such as the police and military and from an ergonomic perspective from education, retail, construction, transport/rail, office ergonomics and also lone workers i.e. refuse, recycling.  Happy if these are from an actual practitioner working within one of these organisations or someone contracted to work with them – happy for them to bring along a client as well to speak.  Also emerging technologies and how these may impact on workers
  • anything that focuses on an ageing workforce – strategies, ergonomic adaptations
  • sessions should be non-promotional – delegates often comment on this and also interactive if possible

If you are interested please complete the attached form here send directly to the event organisers at

Kind regards,



Response to Recent Government consultation 

RE: Response to the Work and Health Units consultation  - Health is Everyone’s Business, Proposals to Reduce Ill Health related Job Loss

On the 15th July, the WHU launched their consultation on improving health at work alongside proposed changes to statutory sick pay ( 

In addition to this a number of organisations have responded to this including:

ACPOHE members will have a major role to play in the recommendations in this consultation.  In particular point 142 highlights the shortage of the OH workforce.  ACPOHE will be working with the SOM to highlight this issue and explore solutions so watch this space.

Please follow the following link to review this consultation and the link below that to respond.  Now is your chance to make your voice hear so please take an active role in this.

Consultation link:


Grading, Pay and Conditions of Employment 2019

One priority of ACPOHE is to recommend minimum terms and conditions of employment of its members working in occupational health or ergonomics, be they working on a full or part-time basis. ACPOHE also gives guidance to those members who are self-employed. A review of this document is undertaken annually in conjunction with the CSP and the latest update is now avialble to view.  Follow the link.......


Invitation to research:

A mixed methods research project is conducted by Glykeria Skamagki, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at Coventry University. The purpose of the project is to explore and identify the strategies that employees over 50 years old with chronic musculoskeletal disorders use in and out of their employment to maintain their roles and responsibilities. This research will involve the completion on an online questionnaire that will take about 20 minutes. An explanatory information leaflet for your patients and a poster (that you can send, share or print) is attached in this e-mail.

Could you spread the word and share this project with your patients, other contacts or post it on social media?  

Here you can find the link for the questionnaire:

For more information you can visit:  or e-mail the lead researcher :

For more infomration please click here and for patien specific infomration please click here.


News from SOM

Please see link below for a recent report on The Value of OH Research.

OH Services Taxation 

Dear ACPOHE Member,

Our committee has been working really hard to clarify the government’s position on the taxable status of OH Physiotherapy services. 

We strongly believe that removing all barriers to access our services, including financial barriers in the form of tax,  should be removed. 

ACPOHE believes that the current stance that the HMRC is taking is at odds with the Work and Health Units Improving Lives Policy as well as many of the latest NICE guidelines, which all recommend early intervention to OH services. 

This matter has been raised at a recent Council for Work and Health meeting, and the chair, Dr. Steve Boorman has also raised it with Dame Carol Black.

A report from John Lewis further reinforces our views (please see below for full press release).  We will continue to lobby this important issue and will keep you informed of any updates.

Kind regards,

Miles Atkinson



New Public Health stratergy urges AHPs to raise their profile

Over the next five years, physiotherapists and other AHPs (Allied Health Professionals) need to develop their skills, demonstrate their impact and raise their profile as public health experts.  This is according to the UK AHP Public Health Strategy 2019-2024, published on 8th May by the AHP Federation.  Follow link to see the stratergy...



We welcome this month’s publication of the NHS Long Term Plan. It provides explicit recognition that the performance of any healthcare system depends upon its staff, the conditions under which they work and the support given to them in the workplace.

We are pleased to note the plan’s commitment to support Trusts to access fast-track Occupational Health (OH) services for their staff and to provide a development programme for line managers. Quality OH services and effective line management can make an important contribution to staff health, workplace productivity and NHS performance.   

The NHS Long Term Plan recognizes the important role that all employers have in supporting staff to stay healthy and in work. We welcome the commitment to increase access to OH across all sectors. However, we note that the proposals do depend upon employers’ willingness to fund these services.

The plan also recognizes the need for improved mental health support for doctors. This could be enhanced by linking such support to OH services, with their expertise in retaining healthcare staff in work. 

We believe that all NHS staff, not just doctors, should have access to quality-assured OH support, including clinical leadership from an accredited specialist in Occupational Medicine. NHS Employers recommends that OH services should enable and facilitate the following:

  • Prevention of ill health caused or exacerbated by work.
  • Timely intervention, including early treatment of the main causes of sickness absence in NHS staff.
  • Rehabilitation to help staff stay at work or return to work after illness.
  • Fitness for work assessments to support organisations to manage attendance and ill health retirement.
  • The promotion of health and wellbeing using work as a means of improving health and wellbeing, and using the workplace to promote health.
  • Training to promote staff health and wellbeing to managers.

We are disappointed that the plan does not include recognition of the support which OH could provide to NHS patients, as well as to staff. Our expertise in terms of rehabilitation and return to work could enhance better care for major health conditions, including those highlighted in the plan, musculoskeletal and mental health problems, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. The health benefits of being in work are increasingly recognised. However, many people with disabilities and long term health conditions are currently excluded from work, as shown in the graph below. Most such individuals do not have access to OH services and this shortfall was not considered in the NHS Long Term Plan.

We would welcome the opportunity to work with NHS England to improve access to OH services for both NHS staff and patients. One potential model would involve stepped access to OH teams, with referral to accredited specialists in Occupational Medicine for those with the most complex problems. We hope to continue our effective working relationship with Public Health England, and the Work and Health Unit at DHSC and DWP.  We intend to continue to promote being in work as a health outcome. These initiatives will support the Long Term Plan to deliver a sustainable NHS.

Additional Background  Your Occupational Service 2013, Podcast 2017

Occupational Health: The Global Evidence and Value - for information on the value proposition for occupational health

The Faculty of Occupational Medicine is the professional and educational body for occupational medicine in the United Kingdom. It seeks to ensure the highest standards in the practice of occupational medicine, overseeing the continuing professional development and revalidation of its members. It is also focused on promoting and supporting health at work, with its mission statement being ‘to drive improvement in the health of the working age population.  

The Society of Occupational Medicine is the UK organisation for all 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 and related environmental issues.

NHS Health at Work is the network of occupational health teams dedicated to ensuring that the NHS has a healthy, motivated workforce that can provide the best possible patient care. We also provide a gateway for businesses in the broader community who are seeking occupational health advice and support.

President FOM           President SOM           Chair NHS Health at Work Network

For further information, please contact Nick Pahl, Tel 0203 478 1047

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