Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits and beer – a business built on the principles and foundations laid by the giants of the industry. Our Performance Ambition is to be one of the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world. In line with this, as an Occupational Health team, we set out on a journey to attain recognition in Safe, Effective, Quality Occupational Health Services (SEQOHS).
As everyone is aware, there has been much uncertainty in the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but for our team, the year has ended on a high, being the first virtual assessment carried out, as SEQOHS looks to technology to enable the continuum of excellence in Occupational Health.
One of Diageo’s key values is proud of what we do and the Diageo Occupational Health team are hugely proud as we achieved an impressive five congratulations with no recommendations for improvement by SEQOHS and as such our work is being championed as an exemplary service on first assessment.
Reflecting on our journey, I can see how far we have come. Its refreshing to know we have a service that is underpinned and embedded in the SEQOHS standards. For anyone thinking about undertaking this assessment, what will it bring to my service, I would urge every service, small or large to take this journey.
The SEQOHS team are supportive through the process from the quality of training delivered, and the timely response from their head office to some of our many questions, the team do so much to improve the standard and quality of Occupational Health.
Our own journey started 2 years ago, with us completing and submitting our first self-assessment in December 2019 and our final on site assessment day set for April 2020.
During March, when all assessment activity was suspended due to COVID, we were disappointed, as we were only a few weeks away from completing what had been a huge investment from our team and business in supporting our journey to be the best, most trusted and respected Occupational Health team in Diageo. However like many other teams our focus had also switched to supporting our business during the pandemic.
We were absolutely delighted when we were contacted in October to set a date for a virtual assessment, which took place on 5th November, Zoom which we are accustomed to using and do so on daily basis. Being familiar with virtual meetings gave us the confidence to proceed, and I would encourage others to not let this hold anyone back, be comfortable and embrace the technology as this did not stop us doing anything we would have done in a face to face environment.
As part of the assessment, we conducted a virtual tour of our department and some key areas the assessors wished to view, we could share documents, and overall felt more inclusive as we were able to have our SEQOHS project group join in the discussion. We were also able to have designated break out groups for the individual standards which allowed more focus and in depth analysis.
The assessors were very organised, all pre-work was completed and as a team we were very organised on the day. A top tip would be to plan, have all your key documents at hand, if there is a team, ensure everyone has a role to play, this helped on the day and allowed the assessment to be very well organized and go to time.
Attached is the virtual photo of our team during the assessment.
I would like to thank Wendy Ladd and the whole SEQOHS team for allowing us to be the first Occupational Health Function to achieve our accreditation through virtual technology.
Occupational Health Operations Manager UK and Ireland
A Framework to increase Occupational Health (OH) Capacity for NHS Organisations through Covid–19 and Winter Pressures
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In March 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement gained business case approval and appointed 29 SEQOHS-accredited suppliers through a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) Framework, with an aim to provide additional Occupational Health (OH) capacity to NHS organisations during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the Framework was launched, NHS organisations have been invited to buy-in additional support where needed, to supplement existing OH services without the need to undertake a tender exercise.
Firstly, we’d like to thank all the SEQOHS accredited suppliers who put themselves forward to support the NHS during the pandemic. Between mid-March and mid-June, the DPS Framework pages on the Health at Work Network received 660 unique views, which shows that NHS organisations are interested in the Framework and may be considering how to use it. NHS England and NHS Improvement are continuing to promote the Framework and work with organisations to proactively plan how they can use Occupational Health services to support staff through the next phase of the pandemic.
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