A HEALTH trust is celebrating after achieving a first in the North East.
Staff at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust had ever reason to be full of smiles.
The health authority has become the first acute NHS organisation in the North East to achieve the national occupational health accreditation.
The trust has successfully met the accreditation standards SEQOHS which stands for Safe, Effective, Quality, Occupational Health Service.
They did it by demonstrating that the organisation meets national quality standards for the services it provides.
To achieve accreditation the trust’s occupational health and wellbeing department had to meet the standards set by the scheme, before a thorough assessment.
The scheme is managed by the Royal College of Physicians of London on behalf of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine.
It covers a number of areas including information governance, facilities, ensuring appropriate clinical supervision and effective staff training.
The team provides a range of services including medical assessments, immunisation programmes for staff, and managing sickness absence.
It is also responsible for management referrals and counselling. Just as importantly, it is also continuously promoting and maintaining the health and wellbeing of all employees, not only within the trust, but also for other NHS trusts, universities and private organisations.
The accreditation has been awarded at a time when the department also recently received the gold standard in the North East Better Health at Work Award.
That honour came in recognition of the trust actively promoting workplace health.
Assistant director of occupational health, safety and wellbeing Ian Clough (who is pictured back left with the team) said: “Receiving the SEQOHS accreditation demonstrates a high level of assurance that the trust is providing an excellent, safe, effective quality service, which meets the national standards.
“It reinforces the trust’s commitment to looking after our own staff so that they feel healthy and well supported to provide excellent patient care.”
He described the honour as “a fantastic achievement which shows the high quality of service, commitment and professionalism that our occupational health staff provides.”
Mr Clough said the Trust’s bosses were “all incredibly proud of our staff who have worked so hard to make this a success.”