COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of occupational health. Tackling inequalities in occupational health provision and access is a key issue in the levelling up agenda.
The government has set out an aim to ‘level up’ the country, promising to increase prosperity, widen opportunity and ensure that no region is left behind. Action to ‘level up the nation’s health’ has been described as a core part of this agenda - as good health is vital to creating prosperity. Action to improve health and reduce inequalities therefore needs to be a core component of the government’s levelling up approach. SOM believe there is now an opportunity to take this forward through the DWP/DHSC Health is everyone’s business consultation response.
As part of the levelling up agenda, SOM is calling for universal access to occupational health. SOM’s position as to how this could be achieved is here. There is a recording of a recent summit on Universal Access to Occupational Health here: part 1, part 2, part 3. Slides 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (the event was covered by Personnel Today here).
There is now a real opportunity to embed occupational health in the levelling up health inequalities agenda - creating a policy shift to bring about positive change in an area that the government has pledged to make real.