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Iechyd a gwaith

Corporate Health StandardIntroduction

Conservative estimates suggest that the cost of work-related ill health in Wales is £500 million per year. It has also been estimated that sickness absence due to common health complaints can be reduced by 20-50 per cent with effective intervention in the workplace. 
 


 

Policy Context

The Welsh Assembly Government published a response to Dame Carol Black's review of the health of Britain's working age population 'Working for a healthier tomorrow'. The government's approach aims to engage employers, health professionals and individuals to raise awareness of the health benefits of work and to provide advice and support on health and work issues.
Workplace Health and Safety issues are dealt with by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and are not devolved to the Welsh Assembly Government. The HSE website contains information and links to its strategy for workplace health and safety in Great Britain.

The Health, work and well-being – caring for our future strategy identifies that work can help to improve your health, reduce health inequalities, and offer improved opportunities. It also identifies the Corporate Health Standard as good practice in workplace quality initiatives.


What is the NHS doing about Health and Work?

One way that the NHS contributes to the Health and Work agenda is in its role as the largest employer in Wales. It is expected that by March 2011 all Local Health Boards will have engaged with the Corporate Health Standard (a workplace quality initiative) with a view to achieving the highest level Platinum award by 2013
 
The Corporate Health Standard is the quality mark for workplace health promotion in Wales. 

Health professionals and GPs in particular have an important role to play and Local Health Boards will encourage GPs to engage with the support and training provided for them through the Healthy Working Wales programme.

LHBs also work with Public Health Wales to enable GPs to complete the Welsh Medicines Resource Centre (WeMeReC) module on health and work and to attend Health and Work Continuous Professional Development sessions. 

WeMeReC is a source of independent information on prescribing for healthcare professionals working in Wales including general practitioners, community pharmacists, medical and pharmaceutical advisers.


Initiatives

Prevention

Health Challenge Wales focuses on six themes that contribute to ill health; alcohol and drugs; food and fitness; smoking, mental health and well being, accidents and injuries and preventing the spread of infectious disease. Activities aimed at improving health and preventing ill health in the working age population are part of this national programme.
The Corporate Health Standard programme provides advice and support to organisations and businesses to improve the health and well being of their employees and is impacting on the health and well being of around 25% of the working population in Wales. The Small Workplace Health Award programme has been specifically developed to engage businesses with less than 50 employees.
Small and medium size businesses in Wales can access free and impartial occupational health, safety and return to work advice through Workboost Wales.

The All Wales Mental Health Network provides leadership and addresses mental health in the workplace as one of its key themes.

The impact of musculoskeletal disorders in Wales is recognised and we work in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive to ensure businesses have access to appropriate advice. Welsh Backs is an example of this partnership working which combines the advice on prevention through the Health and Safety Executive’s ‘Better Backs’ campaign with public health advice on self management and keeping active.


Management

Mental health first aid is a short training course which can be aimed at people in organisations to equip them with the skills to help them recognise and support people who experience mental distress. It is run by Mind Cymru.

The Wellbeing in Work research programme has focused on investigating how health impacts on work and explores the challenges in remaining at work with health problems or returning to work after a period of sickness absence.


Services

Health at Work Advice Line Wales is a pilot service providing managers in small businesses with easy access to professional occupational health advice over the telephone to help you support your employees.

The Public Health Wales Workplace Health Team is involved in promoting and assisting organisations interested in the Corporate Health Standard.


Resources

The plan combines current efforts by a range of organisations to improve the health of the working-age population.

Employers working to improve the health and well-being of their staff may like to visit the website resources for more information.

NHS Evidence allows everyone working in health and social care to access a wide range of health information to help them deliver quality patient care.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced guidance for employers on promoting mental wellbeing through productive and healthy working conditions. NICE also produces a number of other useful resources dealing with workplace health.


Statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) produces data for work related ill-health in the United Kingdom.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produces regional statistics for Wales covering occupational ill health, safety and enforcement.