When you visit the occupational health department for your flu immunisation this year, you’ll see a fascinating glimpse of the world of work in the past, thanks to material from local archives. The corridors of the purpose-built department are now lined with a series of photographs and paintings, designed to provide a calming atmosphere.
Dorothy Bell-Sneddon, Head of NHS Forth Valley’s Occupational Health Service, worked with Babs McCool, Charitable Arts and Wellbeing Co-ordinator to assemble the gallery. Dorothy said: “It’s amazing to see how people earned their crust in years gone by. We have pictures for example, of women making pit props in Bo’ness and bricks at Stein’s brickworks, and women welding in the shipyards at Grangemouth during the war.”
The department has 15 staff including Occupational Health Physicians and Practitioners and is designed to look after the whole person. If staff have issues at home or work, Occupational Health is there to offer help and support. In addition to the many services provided by the team, including work site assessments, staff physiotherapy, staff podiatry, immunisation and support for personal issues such as bereavement or domestic abuse, they also work with the Employee Counselling Service, which provides independent confidential counselling to staff.
According to Dorothy Bell-Sneddon: “We appreciate that although people are working as health professionals, they have feelings and needs just like anyone else. A problem shared is a problem halved and all staff are always welcome to contact us for advice or support.”
Occupational Health is keen to stress that confidentiality is guaranteed. Not only do they support people trying to get back to work after illness, but are also committed to trying to prevent them going off sick in the first place. You can contact the Occupational Health Service on 01324 566663.