As part of membership of the SOM, members are welcome to join a Special Interest Group (SIG). SIGs tackle some of the most pressing issues facing occupational and workplace health today. SIGs give SOM members an opportunity to explore areas of interest that are not necessarily covered through their training, as well as agree best practice. They also enable members from across the UK, and globally, to network with other occupational health professionals working in their field and provide SOM with an invaluable source of expertise and support across our work. Here are some of the activities of SIGs:
- SOM’s Occupational, Health and Work Psychology Special Interest Group has the objective to further the wellbeing of individuals and society at large through the application of occupational psychology. It aims to focus on protection and promotion of workers’ health through the application of psychological theory and evidence e.g. via disseminating best practice. Terms of reference here. SOM hosts annual mental health in the workplace events with the British Psychological Society. A SOM Construction Special Interest Group is also finalising guidance in this area.
- Agreement as to the scope of practice of Occupational Health Technicians and Career Path of OH Technicians from the OH Technicians SIG.
- A report on HAVS best practice from the HAVS SIG, available here. A guidance document Remote assessment of HAVS and CTS is available for SOM members only.
- A new Sleep and Work steering group - members include Public Health England; the TUC; Acas; The Sleep Council; ROSPA; SOM members; RSPH; Mind; British Society of Lifestyle Medicine and the British Psychological Society. A presentation on sleep and work is here.
- Events on Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) via the VR SIG. A presentation on Vocational Rehabilitation is available here.
SIGs also occur on Musculoskeletal issues (via the MSK at Work Network); Skin; Travel Medicine; Marketing; Leadership, and GP issues. Further information about activity and outputs of the Groups are available on the Members Area of the SOM website.
SOM GP interest group in health & work
This group has reviewed fit note use and reviewed various resources of interest to GPs and the health & work landscape in primary care. A GP trainee was recruited as an intern for SOM for one year to support mentoring. GPs are welcome to join the free OH GP Bulletin - receiving key updates on work and health issues. Its role aims to:
• Provide a forum for GPs to discuss all areas of mutual interest.
• Inform and guide SOM Council in matters relevant to primary care, health and work.
• Agree standards for various aspects of occupational health in primary care.
• Support GPs achieving DipOccMed to establish an occupational medicine practice as part of their portfolio.
• Peer-group support and/or supervision for GPs to include their OH practice in appraisal and revalidation.
• Develop, maintain and support the criteria for a role as GPSI/GPER in Health and Work.