A Critical Review of Dame Carol Black’s Review; “Working for a Healthier Tomorrow”, and It’s Influence on Public Health and Occupational Health Nursing.

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University of the West of Scotland

School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery

Graduate Diploma Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

Module Code: NURS 09137

Module Title: Occupational Health Nursing

Summative Assignment

Word Count: 3,305

Date: 19/12/11

I certify that all material in this assignment which is not my own is duly acknowledged. I have read and understand the section in the programme handbook that deals with plagiarism.

A critical review of Dame Carol Black’s review; “Working for a healthier tomorrow”, and it’s influence on public health and occupational health nursing.

This paper seeks to critically discuss Dame Carol Black’s review of the health of Britain’s working age population “Working for a healthier tomorrow”. It will include my rationale for choosing this policy document and the aims of the review. Incorporating the political, economic and social cost of sickness absence and worklessness within the working age population and the influence the review may have on occupational and public health nursing.

Professor Dame Carol Black, United Kingdom (UK) Director for Health and Work, was commissioned to compile a review on the health of Britain’s working age population. In 2008 she presented her review to the Secretary of State for Health and the Secretary of State for work and Pensions. Essentially, this review was by the government for the government with evidence from a multitude of organisations including private companies, industry federations, medical institutes, trades unions and individuals themselves. Eight questions were asked of the afore mentioned organisations and their answers helped to formulate Dame Carol Black’s review (Black 2008b).

The review commenced under a labour government but appears to remain important to the new coalition Government agenda (Department of Health 2010). The review reinforced the principle that employing and maintaining individuals in employment could be beneficial to the health of the nation. Thus, a new vision for health and work in Britain emerged within the review, it had three main objectives, Black (2008a)

1.prevent illness and promote health and well being
2.early intervention for those who develop a health condition 3. improve the health of those out of work and support those with the potential to work

The review highlighted that in 2006 approx 175 million working days were lost in the UK due to illness. The economic cost and social implications of these lost days are significant. The costs to the taxpayer in additional benefit and health costs and forgone taxes were estimated to be over £60 billion. With an annual economic cost, due to sickness absence and worklessness in our working age population, estimated to be over £100 billion. When one considers these figures it is clear that the UK Government must address the situation of sickness absence and worklessness in order to achieve better economic output and improve social standards. It is for this reason that the author chose this Policy document as it seeks to improve social and economic growth within the UK. The social and health cost and issues in Great Britain have been a constant challenge to government throughout the ages, but due to the economic climate of the last 3 years it is becoming an ever pressing one. Our benefits system needs a complete overhaul and our social policy needs to work harder and faster to improve the social standing of the low or no paid, but who will pay for this? Since the conception of the welfare state and the National Health Service in 1942, and all the years of policy change to Black’s review (2008a) the top priorities of each government have remained the same. The author of this paper hopes that this new policy may help to make headway in solving some of the issues but wonders, and will follow with interest whether it will really help to...
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