Occupational health provision in UK universities

Venables, Katherine M. and Allender, Steven 2007, Occupational health provision in UK universities, Occupational medicine, vol. 57, no. 3, pp. 162-168.

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Title Occupational health provision in UK universities
Author(s) Venables, Katherine M.
Allender, Steven
Journal name Occupational medicine
Volume number 57
Issue number 3
Start page 162
End page 168
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2007
ISSN 0962-7480
1471-8405
Keyword(s) Health services research
higher education
occupational health provision
occupational health services
universities
Summary Background Very few studies have been done of occupational health provision across an entire employment sector and universities are particularly understudied. The British government published updated guidance on university occupational health in 2006.

Aim To describe the occupational health services to all the universities in the UK.

Methods All 117 universities in the UK were included. Detailed surveys were carried out in 2002, 2003 and 2004 requesting self-completed information from each university occupational health service. This paper presents information on general characteristics of the service, staffing, services provided and outcome reporting.

Results There was variation in the type of occupational health provision; half the universities had an in-house occupational health service, 32% used a contractor, 9% relied on the campus primary care or student health service and 9% had ad hoc or no arrangements. In all, 93 of the 117 (79%) universities responded to the detailed questionnaire, the response rate being higher from in-house services and from larger universities. There was a wide variation in staffing levels but the average service was small, staffed by one full-time nurse with one half-day of doctor time per week and a part-time clerical or administrative member of staff. A range of services was provided but, again, there was wide variation between universities.

Conclusions It is unclear if the occupational health provision to universities is proportional to their needs. The wide variation suggests that some universities may have less adequate services than others.
Notes Originally published online on January 16, 2007
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Occupational Medicine
Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Oxford University Press
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020492

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Public Health Research, Evaluation, and Policy Cluster
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