I am able to share this letter , just released by NHS England and NHS Improvement to all NHS organisations.
It is good to read that there is a commitment from the NHS to support staff to stay well and at work. There is an acknowledgement that, wherever possible, adjustments may be required to enable this, including for staff members at increased risk. This group now includes pregnant women, a change from earlier. Further national guidance is promised and when available should help decision making about deployment in NHS organisations.
We may have to work differently in OH services over the coming weeks, developing protocols and algorithms to assist effective decision making, if necessary by nominated leads within organisations, targeting specialist OH advice towards those individuals for whom such clinical decision making is required.
It is hard to believe that it is only a week since I was preparing our first interim information document with colleagues from FOM and the NHS Health at Work Network – testimony to just how fast the COVID-19 situation is evolving. Thank you for your feedback, and offers of help and support. It is good to feel that we are all in this together.
Dr Anne de Bono, President
Faculty of Occupational Medicine