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The Health and Work Development Unit

What we are doing

The Health and Work Development Unit (HWDU - previously known as the Occupational Health Clinical Effectiveness Unit), was a partnership between the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians. The unit closed in August 2014.

The unit leaves a legacy of improvement to health at work, including:

  • a series of clinical guidelines relevant to health and work
  • a series of concise guidance for all clinicians on occupational health topics
  • improvements in occupational health clinical care achieved through its programme of national clinical audits
  • a bespoke client experience survey for OH services
  • greater implementation of NICE public health workplace guidance in the NHS achieved through its national organisational audit and implementation workshops.

What we have produced

This guideline focuses on managing varicella zoster virus (chicken pox and shingles) in the workplace, providing evidence-based guidance for occupational health professionals.
This national guideline offers evidence-based advice on the management of four upper limb disorders in the workplace: carpal tunnel syndrome, non-specific arm pain, tenosynovitis and lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).
National guideline offering evidence-based advice on the management of dermatitis in the workplace.
National guideline intended to assist occupational interested parties in providing advice on OH interventions and to address the problem of latex allergy.
National guideline enabling consistent evidence-based advice to be given in relation to pregnant women who are exposed to hazards at work.
Concise guidance providing physicians who work in primary and secondary medical care with a standardised approach to managing contact dermatitis.
Concise guideline follows an extensive review of the evidence of common work activities to see whether they might adversely affect pregnancy outcomes.
Concise summary of the British Occupational Health Research Foundation guideline on reducing the severity of individual cases of occupational asthma.

This concise guideline has been developed to aid doctors in understanding when and how to issue a fit note to the greatest benefit for their patients.

The survey aimed to assess variations in client satisfaction with their employer’s occupational health (OH) service
This public health guidance covers obesity, promoting physical activity, long-term sickness absence, promoting mental health and smoking cessation
National comparative clinical audit measures how well occupational health doctors and nurses are managing NHS staff in England with back pain.
A report that reviews how NHS trusts are implementing NICE guidance on improving staff health and wellbeing.
Second round audit measuring how well OH clinicians and services are managing staff with back pain, and if there had been any change since the first round.
Clinical audit measuring how well occupational health professionals are assessing and managing depression in NHS staff on long-term sickness absence.
Second round comparative clinical audit measuring change in how well OH professionals are detecting and managing depression in long‐term sickness absences.
The aim of this audit was to assess variations in practice with respect to clinical record keeping in OH departments that serve NHS trusts in England.
Second round audit report examines progress made with the implementation of NICE public health guidance relevant to the workplace by NHS trusts.
Document to help NHS employers estimate the costs and savings associated with providing health promotion services for their employees.