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Issue 191 - 11 August 2011

Articles

1. Rising costs force employers to reconsider health benefits
By Paton, Nic. Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p4
NEWS:
  A raft of reports have suggested that the tough economic climate is increasingly straining the ability and commitment of employers to fund fast-track private healthcare and health support.
A report from insurer Mercer has argued that UK businesses are now facing serious "medical inflation", with the cost of providing healthcare and health-related benefits to employees rising by 4.9% in 2010, on top of rises of 6% in 2009 and 10% in 2008.

2. GPs concerned about mental healthcare
Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p4
NEWS: 
GPs are calling for more investment in mental healthcare, according to a recent survey. Fifty-eight per cent of GPs say the quality of NHS care provided for mental health patients is poor. More than half (52%) cite the lack of support for patients with mental health issues as their key concern, while 45% believe that mental health will be the biggest health issue in 2011.

3. Survey reveals benefits of EAP counselling sessions.
Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p4
NEWS:
  Counselling through an employee assistance programme (EAP) can provide real benefits in helping people to remain at work, a survey by service provider First Assist, part of Capita, has argued.

4. Managers should increase focus on employee wellbeing
By Paton, Nic. Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p5
NEWS:
  Performance appraisals of managers should include questions about their effectiveness in helping employees to achieve a good work-life balance and better manage their stress levels, a report by an influential business school has recommended.

5. Employers stress over absence management.
Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p5
Abstract
: Employers are still struggling to manage the timely return to work of absent employees, according to research by health insurer and provider Aviva, particularly when it comes to supporting employees with complex conditions such as cancer. One in five employers questioned in the study also admitted that they had experience of staff living with cancer.

6. College develops useful mental health resource.
Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p5
NEWS:
 The Royal College of Psychiatrists has launched a new online tool offering information and guidance about returning to work after a period of mental ill health. The Work and Mental Health website is aimed at workers, carers, employers and clinicians, with different sections signposting relevant information and useful links. The tool, which was developed in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions, is designed to explain how work can be good for people's mental health and wellbeing, and can play a positive part in people's recovery, said the college.

7. Government lays out goals for latest health and safety review.
By Paton, Nic. Occupational Health, Jul2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p6
HEALTHY & SAFETY NEWS: * The full scope of the Government's Löfstedt review into health and safety red tape has finally been revealed. The review, which is expected to report this autumn, is being led by Professor Ragnar E Löfstedt, who is professor of risk management and director of the King's Centre for Risk Management at King's College London.

8. Devon firm fined £3,500 over employee health risk.
Occupational Health, Jul2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p6
HEALTHY & SAFETY NEWS: A decorating supplies firm has been fined after being found that it was failing to provide employees with hot water to wash their hands for years, despite its staff being at risk of contracting dermatitis. Mike Wye and Associates, which produces natural building and decorating products in North Devon, failed to provide hot water over a period of four years despite workers using hydrated lime for the manufacture of lime putty.

9. Diabetics suffer in silence, says charity.
By Paton, Nic. Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p7
PUBLIC HEALTH NEWS: Almost one million people in the UK are estimated to keep the fact that they have diabetes a secret, for fear of discrimination or news of their condition affecting their career and employment prospects.

10. Changing attitudes to mental illness revealed.
Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p7
PUBLIC HEALTH NEWS: The public is becoming more positive in its perceptions of some mental health issues, but there is still a lot of progress to be made, a study by the NHS Information Centre has concluded.

11. Healthy lifestyle options could save billions.
Occupational Health, Jul2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p7
PUBLIC HEALTH NEWS: Unhealthy lifestyle choices cost the NHS, employers and individuals £17.7 billion every year, according to research from health insurer and provider Bupa

12. RESEARCH NEWS ROUND-UP.
Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p8
Abstract
: Vital role of return-to-work coordinators;  Skin health and working in a bakery; Workload and new motherhood; Working patterns of men and women and lack of vitamin D concentrations; Professionals should agree upper-limb-disorder classification

13. LEGAL NEWS ROUND-UP.
Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p8
Abstract:
Supreme Court allows employer appeals on long latency deafness cases; Firm fined for poor wood dust ventilation unit; Land Rover fined for poor vibration risk management 
 
14. The long and the short of it.
By Preece, Richard. Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p12
Abstract:
Sickness absence research should go into further detail in order for employers to develop more effective absence management methods - All sickness absence is not the same. The reasons for short-term absence are different to long-term absence. The occupational health impacts are different, as are the management approaches

15. Equality control.
By Pritam, Anne. Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p14-15
LEGAL:  Your monthly round-up of legal issues in the OH workplace; Reversing the Malcolm test; Defining disability

16. Stay alert to sleep disorders.
By Payton, Colin. Occupational Health, Jul 2011, Vol. 63 Issue 7: p16-17
Abstract:
Irregular sleeping patterns can have a detrimental effect on a person's health. OH specialists can help to address these problems, says Dr Colin Payton. Sleep disorders have serious adverse consequences for both fitness for work and health in general (Occupational Health, February 2011). Poor sleep or insomnia leading to health-related poor performance at work is something that occupational health practitioners should be aware of, and any assessment of workers with fatigue or daytime sleepiness should include enquiry into their sleep patterns.

Journal - Table of Contents

17. From NZMJ Digest, June 2011, Issue 26
Selected papers from the New Zealand Medical Journal
EDITORIALS
17A
. Screening for colorectal cancer: taking New Zealand from 'among the worst' to 'the best'?
17B. Antibiotic prescribing: time for national surveillance?
17C. Higher rate of empyema disease in Maori and Pacific children
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
17D
. Frequent attendees at emergency departments; research regarding the utility of management plans fails to take into account the natural attrition of attendance
17E. "It's a small price to pay for life":faecal occult blood test (FOBT) screening for colorectal cancer, perceived barriers and facilitators
17F. Impact of universal hepatitis b vaccination on antenatal hepatitis b prevalence in the Midlands region of the North island, New Zealand
17G. Pertussis (whooping cough) epidemiology in Waikato, New Zealand: 2000-2009
17H. Better be prepared than sorry: what should the New Zealand healthcare system learn from the 2009 Pacific Tsunami?
VIEWPOINTS
17I.
Professional burnout-a regulatory perspective
17J. World Salt Awareness Week: more action needed in New Zealand

Conference

18. New Zealand Healthcare Summit 2011
Date: 21st & 22nd September
Venue: Rendezvous Hotel, Auckland
More information: www.abcevents.co.nz/healthcare

News - National

19. Breakthrough Research Holds Clues About MS Cause
Otago University - Thursday, 11 August 2011
In one of the largest human genetic studies ever undertaken, scientists have identified the major common genetic variants that contribute to the cause of the devastating neurologic disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). The results of the study are published today in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. They represent years of work by the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) involving more than 250 researchers in 15 countries.
http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago021419.html

20. NZ scientists help starve cancer cells
TVNZ - 4 August 2011  
Kiwi researchers are part of a team that has discovered a new class of chemicals that fight tumours by starving them of sugar.
A joint project between Stanford University and Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre scientists found the group of small molecules acted as a blockade, killing off gluttonous cancer cells in mice with kidney tumours while sparing normal tissue.
http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/nz-scientists-help-starve-cancer-cells-4339567

 

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