Press Release (7.11.12)
A Bristol occupational health nurse specialist has been named among the top three in the UK.
Clare, who runs her own firm Clare Haddow Occupational Health Specialists (CHOHS Ltd) – in Henleaze – works in a profession credited with reducing long-term sickness in industry by up to 50 per cent.
She was named on the shortlist of three for Occupational Health Nurse of the Year in the Occupational Health Awards 2012.
Clare has been recognised for producing informative and groundbreaking guidance for both employers and employee which reduce much of the confusion and mystery surrounding occupational health.
This is not the first time Clare has been shortlisted in these awards – in the inaugural year of the ceremony, 2007, she was nominated indirectly by a client for her work with them.
She said: “I am passionate about occupational health and it is lovely to be recognised by one’s fellow peers and to have been short listed.
“As a business we aim to listen to our clients’ needs and offer appropriate occupational health advice as we understand that in today’s climate the health of one’s workforce is important. We try to assist in reducing sickness absence and we offer advice to employers with regard reasonable adjustments with those returning from episodes of ill health, whether physical or mental health issues.”
Occupational health professionals like Clare will typically visit companies, ensuring that best practices are being carried out by the firm and offer advice to ensure staff can carry out tasks without risk of harm.
She said: “Much of my time is spent on clients’ sites and seeing their employees for a private and confidential occupational health consultation. It could be that an employee is about to return to work or at work although not 100% and employers want advice to ensure that their employees are working within their individual capabilities.
“We also see employees for health surveillance following the company’s risks assessments and if there is a need to undertake skin surveillance, lung function tests and hearing tests. Occupational health in short is trying to ensure that the physical and mental health of an employee is not affected by the work that they do.”
Clare originally trained in her home city of Edinburgh where she qualified as a nurse before undertaking her occupational health nursing at Manchester Polytechnic. She has lived in Bristol for 18 years.
It was during a secondment to Chile with her husband and family that she took a business qualification which spurred her on to set up her own firm.
She works with colleague Ann Morrison and the firm also has Associates who work for her clients around the UK. All the nurses who work for CHOHS Ltd are Specialist Occupational Health Practitioners on the 3rd Part of the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC).
She said: “I have always had a vision for providing occupational health to organisations of all sizes although mainly the small to medium businesses. I set up as self employed in 2002 and then became a private limited company in 2007.
“Our customers are able to deal directly with a company that knows about occupational health and finding solutions to health issues/problems at work.”
In 2004 the Association of British Insurers (ABI) looked at companies using occupational health providers to reduce sickness absence by active case management. They concluded that these schemes can lead to a 10-40% reduction in compensation costs. Both long term sickness absence and litigation were reduced by up to 50%, and insurance costs were reduced by up to 40%.
Clare said: “In the future I want to continue to provide the best occupational health service we can to our clients with the support of the specialist occupational health nurses who work with me on delivering this service. To continue to listen to our both our clients, who are the employers and employees, and ensure the advice we offer is appropriate.”