12 May

OH care for GP practices

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Governmentto phase in OH service for GP practice staff under NHS planGPsand practice staff are to get access to an occupational health service for thefirst time, under new government plans.Theinitiative, unveiled by health minister John Hutton at the end of June, willmean GPs and primary care staff will be provided with regular risk assessmentsto identify workplace hazards, pre-employment health assessments and access toOH nurses and physicians.Theywill also be offered immunisation, boosters, blood tests and counsellingservices.Whilethe services are being established – they are due to be up and running by nextMarch – a local telephone service will be set up offering advice onoccupational health and safety.NHStrust and health authority staff have long had access to OH services, but GPsand their staff have not – although some authorities make services availablethrough locally financed schemes.Huttonsaid, “GPs and their staff work very hard – doing a great job underpressure. That is why introducing these services is so important. By improvinghealth and safety in their work lives, GPs and their staff will be able to makethe best contribution to improving patient care.”DrPeter Verow, consultant occupational physician at Sandwell Health Care Trust,said the development had been “long awaited” but it would take sometime for OH services to gauge what level of demand was needed.GPpractices vary in size and complexity with some simply wanting health andsafety advice and others a full OH service.Thelocal OH service would first need to negotiate with the health authority orprimary care trust to agree on an appropriate level of service, he argued. Butthe best route was to have a dedicated OH nurse to establish and develop the service.”Ifit is just part of a job of another OH person in a unit then there is a dangerit becomes another service that is not pushed,” he said.TheGovernment’s NHS Plan, published last summer, pledged to invest £6m in 2001/02,and a further £2m in 2003/04, to make OH services available to GPs and theirstaff. www.doh.gov.uk/healthandsafety Previous Article Next Article OH care for GP practicesOn 1 Sep 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more