Resources

We have prepared the following resources to guide our clients

Employee absence is likely to be costing your organisation around £0 every single year, due to 0 days lost to absence across your workforce.

Our services could help save £0 every year. That’s £0 over 5 years. No small change.

“This report provides a comprehensive analysis and evidence review of the
value of occupational health. It comes at a critical time for the policy agenda for work and health, and the challenge of the productivity gap. It is essential reading for managers, clinicians and policy makers.”

– Lord Blunkett, SOM Patron

Occupational health specialists enhance employee health, workforce productivity, business performance and the economy

“ ‘Occupational health: the value proposition’ brings togetherin one place key research and evidence detailing the businessbenefits for the provision of occupational health within the workplace. Taking the assessment beyond legal compliance, this honest and accessible report highlights how occupational health can bring added, measurable value in terms of employee productivity and engagement. The report supports and complements the practical guidance produced by IOSH. Ensuring that employees are happy, healthy and in work is at the heart of IOSH’s vision and this report offers further evidence of the benefit such an approach can bring to all organisations.”

– Bev Messinger, Chief Executive, Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

For more please download the report:

by the Society of Occupational Medicine

This document has been designed to support companies who wish to commission an occupational health (OH) service.

1. Introduction

OH services keep people well at work – physically and mentally. Research shows that good health is good for business and the longer people are off sick, the less likely they are to make a successful return to work. As a byproduct of making people well at work, OH professionals enable better interaction out of work with sports, hobbies and family activities. OH services reduce absence costs, help people return to work successfully post illness, reduce claims against health insurance, and reduce legal risks associated with non-compliance of employment, Equality Act and health and safety legislation. They can also increase staff retention – saving time, money and effort recruiting, retaining and training staff – and improve productivity and therefore profitability (see the SOM’s report “Occupational health – the value proposition”). OH services can be used as part of an engagement strategy with employees, evidencing the company’s commitment to keeping their health physically and mentally.

2. What occupational health services are best for your business?

a) Know your own organisational needs

Risk Assessments need to be completed by the organisation to identify workplace risks and direct what actions are needed to prioritise the appropriate interventions and controls. Additionally, data on the rate and reason for absence across the organisation is beneficial when understanding your organisational needs. Your organisation should have a policy for attendance management with parameters for making reasonable adjustments and Duty of Care arrangements for your employees. Your organisation should also have …

Society of Occupational Medicine

A report of this kind is needed for a number of reasons, reflected in conversations we have had amongst ourselves and with a range of stakeholders from different organisations and professions.

The first concerns identifying whether there is a point of difference between ‘wellbeing provision’ and ‘occupational health provision’, and consequently what that difference might be. If there is a difference between wellbeing on the one hand and health on the other, it is doubtless a blurred one. Any confusion here is also reflected in uncertainty over which legislative regulations might apply – for example, both health and safety legislation and equality, diversity and inclusion legislation are relevant.

The second concerns which professional group is responsible for workplace wellbeing. Is it human resources professionals, for whom wellbeing might be linked to initiatives concerning employee engagement, retention or equality, diversity and inclusion? Or should the responsibility reside with occupational health professionals, who can lay claim to specialised knowledge around health?

To find out more, please download the full report:

This page explains how you can help protect yourself against flu this coming winter


Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter (seasonal flu). It’s a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly. Colds are less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy, runny nose and a sore throat. A bad bout of flu is much worse than a heavy cold.

The most common symptoms of flu are fever, headache, extreme tiredness, general aches and pains, plus joint and muscle pain. Healthy individuals usually recover within two to seven days, but for some vulnerable individuals the disease can lead to hospitalisation.

What do I need to do now?

Your organisation wishes to protect their employees against flu and have made arrangements for the vaccinations to be given through their occupational health provider, Collingwood Health.

The 2019/20 season offers 2 types of flu vaccine, the quadrivalent vaccine for those under 65 years and the adjuvanted trivalent vaccine for those over 65 years.

If you belong to one of the groups mentioned here, it’s important to have your flu vaccination and tell your GP that you have had it. 

Who should have the flu vaccine?

Flu can affect anyone but if you have a long-term health condition the flu virus may mean you are more susceptible to secondary effects and complications, even if your long term condition is well managed and you normally feel well. You should have the flu vaccine if you are, or have:

  • pregnant
  • a heart problem
  • chest complaint or breathing difficulties, e.g. bronchitis, emphysema or severe asthma
  • kidney disease / liver disease
  • lowered immunity due to disease or treatment (steroid medication, cancer treatment)
  • stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • diabetes
  • neurological condition, e.g. multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy or learning disability
  • Spleen conditions, e.g. sickle cell disease, or you have had your spleen removed
  • are seriously overweight.
  • aged 65 years or over (Trivalent vaccine)
  • living in a residential or nursing home
  • the main carer of an older or disabled person
  • household contact of  an immunocompromised person

If you are in one of the above groups you may have the vaccination at your GP Surgery.  If you decide to have it as part of your workplace flu programme then please inform your GP.

Front-line health or social care workers are also entitled to the flu vaccine; your employer will usually provide this.

How does the flu vaccine work?

The vaccine stimulates your body’s immune system to make antibodies which attack the flu virus. If you’re exposed to the flu virus after you’ve had the vaccine, your immune system will recognise the virus and immediately produce antibodies to fight it. It may take 10 to 14 days for your immunity to build up fully after vaccination.

I think I’ve already had flu, do I need a vaccination?

Yes; other viruses can give you flu-like symptoms, or you may have had flu but there’s more than one type of flu virus, so you should still have the jab.

I had the flu vaccine last year, do I need it again this year?

Yes; each year the flu virus composition of the vaccine changes.

Who shouldn’t have the vaccination?

Almost everybody can have the vaccine, but you should not be vaccinated if you have ever had:

  • A serious allergy to the vaccine, or any of its ingredients
  • If you are allergic to eggs
  • If you have a fever, the vaccination may be delayed until you are better
  • You must not have the live flu vaccine if you have a condition that weakens your immune system (check with your Nurse / GP)

How long will I be protected for?

The vaccine should provide protection throughout the 2019/20 flu season.

Side effects of vaccination

1 to 10 people in 100 might experience the following:

Common side effects:

  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Muscular aches and pains
  • Joint aches and pains
  • Shivering and fatigue

Common local reactions: 

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Hardness

Your regular pain relief should be sufficient to reduce above symptoms and a cold compress to site will assist for local reactions. If any symptoms continue longer than 2 days or you are concerned please seek medical advice from your GP or by calling 111 or by visiting your local walk in centre.

Uncommon reactions:

Allergic reactions requiring immediate medical attention are:

  • Rash
  • Swelling of face/neck

Rare reactions:

Reactions that may be related to the vaccine and will need further medical investigations are:

  • Nerve root pain                                Loss of balance
  • Loss of reflexes                                Convulsions
  • Paralysis                                            Limb weakness
  • Swollen glands

Preventing the spread of flu

You can prevent catching the flu or spreading it to others with good hygiene measures.

Always wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, as well as:

  • regularly clean surfaces e.g. computer keyboard, telephone and door handles 
  • use tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • place used tissues in a bin immediately

You can also help stop the spread of flu by avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you’re infectious. You should stay off work until you are feeling better.

If you have an underlying health condition you may be at risk of more serious flu.  If unwell you must consult you GP as antiviral medication may be recommended.

How effective is the flu jab?

Flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus that can cause unpleasant illness in children and severe illness and death among at-risk groups, including older people, pregnant women and those with an underlying medical health condition.

Studies have shown that the flu jab works and helps prevent flu. It won’t stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary between people, so it’s not a 100% guarantee, but if you do get flu it’s likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been. The vaccine does not prevent colds, chest infections and other viral infections.

Locations  for further reference and information

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-flu-immunisation-programme-plan

Your local GP

COVID-19 Employee Screening

Advice on how we can support our customers

As a business owner, you’re probably wondering how the escalating situation surrounding coronavirus is going to affect both your workforce and your workplace.

Fortunately the UK has an excellent track record in dealing with high consequence infectious disease, and has already demonstrated its expertise in response to diseases like MERS, Ebola and Monkeypox. 

It is vital to keep up to date with the most current and correct advice. Fortunately, there is a range of resources available as outlined below.

Collingwood Health has put together some vital information for you and your staff to assist.

Covid-19 Business Needs Assessment

In the current climate businesses and HR business partners are looking for ways to assess their risk and the needs of their businesses and employees. We all want to ensure compliance with COVID-19 health directives to deliver health and safety in the workplace. The Collingwood Health COVID-19 business needs assessment is the answer.

Lead by an Occupational Health Physician, you receive a Q&A session to answer your questions related to COVID-19 workplace management. Lead by the latest clinical guidance, you will receive timely feedback on the spot, with a report immediately forthcoming containing directives and recommendations you can use to plan and keep your business functioning.

The COVID-19 Business Needs Assessment will include services such as:

  • Risk Assessment
  • Workforce planning, including supporting ‘at-risk’ groups, according to organisational needs
  • Case discussion about individuals of concern
  • Return to work planning and considerations
  • What you need to do to ensure compliance
  • Strategies
  • Infection control advice
  • Screening advice

Your Q&A session will be delivered via telephone consultation or virtually through MS Teams, WhatsApp, Zoom, or Face time, making it quick, safe and easy for you to get the clinically led answers you need for business continuity.

COVID-19 Employee Screening

The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is currently disrupting business and leaders and HR business partners are concerned about how best to look after their staff and ensure continuation of work.

As part of your contingency plan, you are most likely considering employee screening to safely and effectively comply with current advice, continue to employ people, and run your business.

We can help.

COVID-19 Employee Screening Plan

The screening is done by telephone by an Occupational Health clinician with a report back to you in real time allowing you to take quick and effective action.

Screening of Employees:

  • vulnerable/at risk employees – those with underlying health conditions or over 70s
  • symptomatic employees
  • non-vulnerable employees
  • employees with family members in isolation

We are offering this on a full day basis to get you answers as quickly as possible.

Please get in touch with us to plan your COVID-19 Employee Screening.

Remote Home Worker Assessment

If your staff is currently working from home due to the Coronavirus, you and they are likely worried about the current situation, especially if they have an underlying condition.

We are able to help both yourself and your employee with an assessment of the employee’s home working situation.

Included in our assessment:

  • Micro Workplace Assessment
  • Stress Risk Assessment
  • Health Assessment

This assessment can take place from the comfort of the employee’s home using Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or WhatsApp.

Our expert advice will help you manage this new workplace health risk and help put your mind at ease.

Telephone Counselling

During these times employees may be having poor mental health due to a myriad of changes hitting them all at once: the stress of lifestyle change, worry for loved ones, loss of income, or an inability to socialise. The usual every day reassurances — a hug or gentle touch, a private conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee, being close to another person — currently put our health and the health of those we love at risk.

We can help through Telephone Counselling.

Employees may need counselling to assist them through these times, or may want to continue counselling they were having face to face.

Confidential and discreet, our telephone counselling services are provided by counsellors working within the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s (BACP) ethical framework for good practice in counselling and psychotherapy.

If you would like to refer your employee for telephone counselling, please contact us right away. Our helpful team will arrange this with your employee directly ensuring they provide sessions that fit into the employee’s schedule. We will continually keep you informed with regular updates on progress.

Latest Government advice

To get the latest government advice, click through the links below.

Flu vaccinations

It’s not too late to get this season’s flu jab.  Higher risk groups should be encouraged to get this through their GP if they have not already done so.  Companies may want to consider re-offering the flu jab to all staff.  Having the flu jab will not help protect against coronavirus, but it will help protect again flu which has many of the similar symptoms. 

Anything employers can do to prevent further strain on the NHS seems like a good thing.  It is also a wise thing to do for employers and employees in any case.

We are still offering 2019/2020 seasonal flu jabs, contact us on 01753 781653 or 01753 781654 to discuss.

Workplace Infection Control Audits

Current government advice is that businesses should continue working, unless specifically advised otherwise.  Managing risk and staying open for business requires a significant change of behaviours from both companies and staff.

As a medical business, we have put together a practical “Workplace Infection Control Audit” which will advise on the strengths of measures companies are currently taking, together with practical advice on how they might be improved, and ultimately sharing best practice and good ideas amongst our customers.

We are offering this service to customers from £350. Contact us on 01753 781653 or 01753 781654 to discuss your audit.

Employee Wellbeing

The threat of coronavirus is generating a whole new scale of workplace concerns and anxieties. It is affecting us all. However, through these unprecedented times, employers still need to ensure the emotional (and physical) wellbeing of their staff.

We are helping our customers put in place short term plans and programmes as part of their overall coronavirus thinking and business continuity planning.

We are running additional on-site wellbeing clinics, offering extra counselling and mental health support, providing mental health first aid training, flu jabs, and workplace infection control audits.

Contact us on 01753 781653 or 01753 781654 to see how we might be able to help you though this.


We urge you to follow the public advice from the United Kingdom if you are a resident of the UK.


Guidance for Employees, Employers, and Businesses

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses

Guidance for non-clinical settings

Information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) including guidance for professionals helping people in the education, transport and other sectors.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/covid-19-guidance-for-non-clinical-settings-and-the-public

Public Health Advice

For the public:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance

Public Health England (PHE) has a suite of guidance documents and information including the latest epidemiology, infection prevention and control measures, and guidance on post travel management. These documents can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/wuhan-novel-coronavirus


Infection prevention and control guidance

This guidance outlines infection prevention and control advice for healthcare providers assessing, testing and caring for possible cases of COVID-2019 in secondary care. It should be used in conjunction with local policies.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-wn-cov-infection-prevention-and-control-guidance

Travel Health Advice

The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) produces news alerts with the latest travel guidance for both travellers and those advising travellers. It also has an outbreak surveillance database which will give details of the case numbers in China, but also information on imported cases elsewhere. This information can be found on NaTHNaC’s website TravelHealthPro at https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/


Other Resources

World Health Organization

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

British Medical Journal resource centre

https://www.bmj.com/coronavirus

The Lancet coronavirus resource centre

https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus

For more information, please call 01753 781 600 or 0114 399 3453, email info@collingwoodhealth.com or contact us.