Sickness absence and return to work

Quality improvement in OH practice

As practising OH physicians, in addition to our academic activities, we undertake a range of clinically focussed research. These include competency assessment for both OH physicians and nurses (see section below), clinical improvement activities relating to the consultation, clinical assessment and report quality and more recently, understanding complexity in OH practice.

Our research includes development of the first ever clinical algorithms in OH practice. Development and implementation of clinical algorithms in occupational health practice. We have also published a series of peer review audit studies of OH report quality. Peer review audit of occupational health reports: process and outcomes. ; Impact of peer review audit on occupational health report quality.; Peer review audit of non-specialist occupational physician reports.


Clinical Competencies in OH

We are global leaders in this research field having published the first studies on European Requirements for occupational medicine training in Europe: a Delphi study and international competency priorities for specialist occupational physicians International perspective on common core competencies for occupational physicians: a modified Delphi study. We have also undertaken innovative research on competency priorities between OH physicians and nurses Comparison of competency priorities between UK occupational physicians and occupational health nurses., core competencies for UK nurses Core competencies for UK occupational health nurses: a Delphi study and OH customers Required competencies of occupational physicians: a Delphi survey of UK customers.. For these studies, we developed a modified Delphi technique, that has been adopted in other research studies


The Value of OH research

We led a review commissioned by the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) and partially funded by the Health & Safety Executive, UK on ‘The Value of OH research’. This was published at a formal launch at The House of Lords in June 2019 by SOM Patron, Lord David Blunkett.

The review has received widespread national and international recognition; being the subject of an Editorial in the journal, Occupational & Environmental Medicine and featuring in the International Congress on Occupational Health (ICOH) newsletter. It has also been the driver for the development of a designated UK centre for work and health research. Our Group are active members of the UK Centre for Work and Health strategy group, that is currently working to drive this agenda.

See Guest blog by Prof Drushca Lalloo, lead author of The Value of Occupational Health Research report for a summary of the findings and actions recommended

Research priorities and academic activity in OH

We undertook a national study on research priorities for UK OH physicians and researchers Current research priorities for UK occupational physicians and occupational health researchers: a modified Delphi study., and a further study on research and teaching activity among UK OH physicians. Research and teaching activity in UK occupational physicians.

Specific occupational group studies

Personal characteristics, career experiences and progression in OH practitioners; investigating equality, diversity and inclusion - The EDIOH Study

Researchers: Prof Drushca Lalloo, Prof Ewan Macdonald, Dr Sheetal Chavda, Dr Simon Walker

Clipboard with the words Occupational Health

Welcome to the homepage for the EDIOH Study 2022. We, at the Healthy Working Lives Group, in collaboration with the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and Society of Occupational Medicine, are conducting a study to investigate differences in experiences and career progression of UK Occupational Health (OH) practitioners based on personal characteristics such as age, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability.

By utilizing a comprehensive bespoke research survey design, this study seeks to set a benchmark in our understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion in OH. Currently, there is an absence of formal research in this area, with the bulk of existing research focussed within the NHS, where annual surveys are conducted to ascertain and monitor such events to inform NHS policy and best practice.  

Clipboard with Questions for Occupational Health

However, the majority of OH practitioners in the UK work out with the NHS, in a wide range of public and private sectors. Consequently, many OH practitioners may work in organizations that do not have any measures in place to address discrimination or which lack proper monitoring data to help identify areas of concern.

As a baseline, this study will establish a fundamental benchmark of equality, diversity, and inclusion in OH. The results will be used to inform and improve policy and practice within OH organisations and the wider OH field and to bring about change, where needed.

If you have received a survey link and agree to participate in this study, please click the below links to read (and download) the appropriate documentation for participant information, including the participant information sheet (PIS), the privacy notice and a copy of the consent form (that you will require to complete before starting the survey).