We were asked by the joint DHSC and DWP Work and Health Unit to explore the viability of a service to collect data about the occupational health workforce in England.
The discovery was commissioned following the consultation Health is everyone’s business, which suggested the possibility of a new service that might capture and monitor existing and new data about the occupational health workforce to support business and workforce planning.
Our discovery included user interviews and workshops, an analysis of stakeholder perspectives, and a thorough review of technology and data options led by our partners at Torchbox.
Our landscape analysis drew on lessons from the owners of other existing workforce data collections, including the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set.
Our outputs included a set of tested, low fidelity concept prototypes that explored the ways in which workforce data might be collected, managed and consumed.
A novel challenge of the discovery was the different perspectives we heard amongst users and stakeholders about the definition of occupational health, and the roles that exist within the occupational health workforce.
We learned that it is not straightforward to define the edges of the occupational health workforce, which obviously presents challenges to collecting workforce data. Our recommendations, and our suggested data model, had to account for these different perspectives.
We presented our findings, discovery outputs, and our suggestions for how to take the work forward, to the Work and Health Unit team and their stakeholders for them to consider.