Society of Occupational Medicine --- Magazine Summer 2020

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Partnership working works!

SOM responded quickly to the pandemic. There were dark days in the spring where OH professionals were being furloughed or made redundant at the same time as the Government struggled with health care work protection. A SOM snapshot survey in April found over 1500 OH professionals not being used either by being furloughed or underemployed. We facilitated members volunteering and working in the NHS, procurement of OH within the NHS and provided daily updates for members.

A great opinion piece in the Health Service Journal by the then SOM President, Dr Will Ponsonby, highlighted the need for health leaders and politicians to step back, avoid the use of military style language and consider the hierarchy of controls to protect healthcare workers. SOM started a campaign for “no more health care work deaths”, supported by the BMA and others. We proactively challenged Government, offering support and advice. We were pleased that Miriam Margolyes spoke out in support of occupational health professionals as a core part of the pandemic response.

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