The Health and Work Development Unit (HWDU) is a partnership between the Faculty and the Royal College of Physicians. HWDU supports the implementation of evidence-based guidance through audit and related work. This is part of the Faculty’s wider work to improve the quality of occupational medicine practice and occupational health services – an area which it is looking to strengthen over the next twelve months, and further information on this will be published shortly.
HWDU has produced a wide range of publications on the management of various conditions in the workplace; these can be found at: http://www.fom.ac.uk/publications-policy-guidance-and-consultations/publications/hwdu-publications
In April 2012 HWDU will be publishing the results from the 2012 national audits of back pain management and record keeping standards, and the first national occupational health patient experience survey. These audits were open to all occupational health service providers to the NHS in England. All three national reports will be available on the Royal College of Physicians website from 18 April.
The opportunity to participate in HWDU quality improvement projects has so far been restricted to the NHS but later in 2012 this opportunity will be extended to occupational health clinicians and service providers who work outside the NHS. The programme will include clinical audit of long-term sickness absence, audit of record keeping and a patient experience survey. Occupational physicians will be able to use participation in the clinical audit as evidence for revalidation; and the record keeping audit and patient experience survey have been designed to produce data that is acceptable as evidence for SEQOHS. The programme will complement existing quality improvement initiatives and frameworks and the cost will be kept as low as possible.
HWDU is particularly keen to hear from Faculty members who would like to participate in the audit development group that will oversee the projects.