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January 22, 2010

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Standards should boost quality of OH provision

In a move that should raise the overall quality of care delivered by

occupational health (OH) service-providers, new performance standards

have been published in the UK for the first time. 

Produced by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM), in partnership with a group of stakeholders, the standards will be underpinned by a new voluntary accreditation system, also being developed by the FOM and due to be operational early next year.

By introducing the standards one year ahead of the accreditation scheme’s launch, OH service-providers will have time to acquaint themselves with the requirements and collect the evidence required for the accreditation process.

The standards define the minimum requirements that will apply to OH service-providers who participate in the accreditation scheme, and provide service-providers with a framework for quality assurance. Organised under six categories, the standards cover: business probity; information governance; people; facilities and equipment; relationships with purchasers; and relationships with workers.

Describing the standards as an important development for occupational health, FOM president Professor David Coggon said: “We have worked hard to make sure the standards are practical and proportionate, and we believe they have the potential to improve occupational health services significantly in the UK.”

The need for clear standards of practice and formal accreditation of OH service-providers was recommended by Dame Carol Black in her review, ‘Working for a Healthier Tomorrow’, in 2008.

The standards are available at

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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