Figures from the Safe Effective Quality Occupational Health Service (SEQOHS) team show that occupational health (OH) services serving more than 1,000,000 employees had achieved SEQOHS accreditation by October 2012. SEQOHS is managed by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on behalf of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM).
Staff working for some of the country’s biggest employers are receiving occupational health advice and support from accredited services including ATOS healthcare, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and Unilever.
Dr Roland Valori, RCP Clinical Director for Accreditation, said ‘The health of the working population has a huge impact on all of us. And for the NHS healthier staff means better patient care.’
SEQOHS accreditation involves an OH service undertaking an on-going annual programme of quality improvement, accreditation and maintenance. Accreditation takes up to two years to complete, with an annual review and a full reaccreditation assessment on the five year anniversary of accreditation. The OH services contribute evidence and documentation, which is reviewed by a team of assessors and then submitted to a quality assurance board for final assessment.
The SEQOHS scheme enables occupational health services to identify the standards of practice to which they should aspire, acknowledges and credits the good work being done by high quality occupational health services, and provides independent validation that they satisfy standards of quality. The standards were developed by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) in collaboration with a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary stakeholder group.
The companies and employers accredited in this recent round included independent sector occupational health services, NHS trusts and large corporations.
Donald Menzies, Head of Occupational Health Services at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, said ‘Receiving an accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians is a strong assurance of good quality, and we are delighted to have our services affirmed in this way.’
Mike O’Donnell, Chief Medical Officer for Atos Healthcare, said ‘We are delighted to offer our customers across the public and private sector an occupational health service that meets high quality standards. We recognise the importance of looking after workplace health for the benefit of both the individual and the wider business. We work hard to provide a service that meets the needs of our clients and their employees.’
Olivia Carlton, President of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, said: ‘It is very encouraging that SEQOHS has become so widely recognised as the standard to meet for occupational health services in both public and private sectors. This is part of the Faculty’s ongoing drive to improve the quality of practice in occupational health and we are proud of the progress made by SEQOHS in its first two years of operation.’
For a full list of accredited services: www.seqohs.org
Notes to editors
For further information please contact Hannah Bristow Clinical Standards communications officer on 020 3075 1447, 07584 303 784 or Hannah.Bristow@rcplondon.ac.uk