New research has revealed that frontline NHS hospitals are losing an estimated £200 million1 a year due to staff being absent from work with muscle and joint injuries.
More than 60% of staff working in Acute Hospital Trusts take sick leave every year, averaging just over 20 days absence each. But that figure rises to almost 23.5 days per head for those suffering from musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) meaning that hospitals across the country lose an average of almost 14,000 staff days per year due to staff having conditions such as bad backs, sore necks or stiff joints.
But according to Physio Med, which carried out the research, faster access to physiotherapy could help to significantly reduce sickness absence, saving the NHS more than £100 million a year.
Phil Clayton, Managing Director of Physio Med, which provides occupational physiotherapy and ergonomic solutions to large organisations and a number of NHS Trusts, said: “Staff within the NHS provide vital services to the public. Many of the roles are physically demanding and therefore the prevalence of muscular and joint injuries can, understandably, be high. But when these employees are absent from work it can have a severe knock-on effect on the delivery of NHS services to the public.
“The research2 we have carried out among Trusts across the country demonstrates that absence due to MSDs is higher than average and is costing the NHS £200 million a year – a figure that doesn’t even take into account the cost of cancelled and delayed NHS services.”
Physio Med’s research found that over a three year period:
- An average of 60% of NHS staff took sickness absence, with the average absence being 20 days
- Around 16.5% of all absence was due to MSDs, with the average length of absence rising to almost 24 days
- This equates to an average of 13,842 lost days per trust, per year or 6,000 employees absent every day across all NHS acute trusts
The research reinforces the findings of the Chartered Society for Physiotherapy (CSP) Fit Enough for Patients? report3 in 2013, which identified that more than a third of trusts did not have a health and wellbeing strategy in place, and nearly one in five trusts did not offer staff rapid access to physiotherapy, despite being recommended to do so by the 2009 report, the Boorman Review4.
Phil Clayton: “We work with a number of NHS Trusts across the country, providing fast access to physiotherapy services which allows staff to be assessed by a physiotherapist within days, sometimes even hours, which has delivered significant reductions in sickness absence and improved productivity. One Trust has recorded 58% reduction in days lost in the employees that were referred to our service.”
Counter Terror Expo 2015 comes at a time when terrorism and unconventional threat levels across much of the world are at heightened levels. Recent events in France and Nigeria, to pick just two, have accentuated the myriad of different threats that have proliferated since the 1990s. And as the threats have increased and mutated, so the responses of countries, government agencies, and non-government actors have had to change almost beyond all recognition.
Counter Terror Expo 2015 covers these key terror threat areas under one roof, and uses the underlying principles that form the “UK’s Strategy for Countering International Terrorism”, to link everything. The four principles that make up what is also known as the also known as the “Contest Strategy” are: “Pursue”, “Prevent, “Protect”, and “Prepare”.
- Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks;
- Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism;
- Protect: to strengthen protection against a terrorist attack;
- Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack
At Counter Terror Expo 2015, the overall scene – the “intelligence picture” – is set by the “World Counter-Terror Congress”. Presentations on topics as diverse as communications security in a “post-Snowden Age”, use of digital media by radical groups, and the impact of new terror tactics are joined together under the four “Contest Strategy” headings. More detailed intelligence updates on Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, to name just some of the terror groups that are most frequently reported on in the media. Supporting briefings and presentations are provided by the Quillam Foundation, RUSI, University College London, the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office.The cyber terror threat is covered extensively in the exhibition’s “Cyber Threat Intelligence” strand. The past few months have given much to consider here. From the hacking of Sony Pictures – possibly by North Korean agencies – through to the hacking of the US Defense Department’s Central Command (which had its Twitter and YouTube feeds taken over by a group claiming to be aligned with ISIS), this threat has seen massive changes of late. And it isn’t just the state-on-state threats (also seen in hostile Russian cyber attacks on neighbours) that present severe challenges. The use of cyber techniques by criminal groups is an equal challenge to law enforcement agencies as well as commerce. The “Cyber Threat Intelligence” strand sees key updates from UK Government Communications HQ, Europol, and the UK’s National Cyber Crime Unit, backed up by “coal face” presentations from key industry leaders in the area.
The threat to infrastructure from terror groups has been a constant, but growing one. From threats to oil/petrochemical facilities (such as seen in Algeria in 2012, as well as in Nigeria and Iraq), to potential attacks on nuclear power stations, the sector presents a range of opportunities to terror groups, and thus risks to governments. So taking the “Four P’s” as the guideline, the “Critical National Infrastructure” seminar ranges across the options for identifying threats as well as solutions. Vital concept updates are given by the UK Home Office’s Security and Counter Terrorism department, GCHQ, NATO, and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. To provide pin-point clarity about exactly what this can mean on the ground, the seminar also has feature presentations on the challenges of security at sporting facilities such as Wembley Stadium (as an example of the mass of such facilities that can seat close to 100,000 spectators), and the re-built New York World Trade Center.
Furthermore, the myriad of threats aren’t just focussed against fixed infrastructure facilities: transport networks are a regular target for terror groups’ plans and attacks. From the 9/11 aircraft hijackings, through the 2004 Madrid Atocha train bombings to the similar attack on the London Underground in 2005, transport presents ideal targets for terror groups. Although aircraft are the highest profile targets, it is often transports means such as buses that see the most attacks – Boko Haram and Al Shabab have both carried out shocking fatal attacks on buses in Nigeria and Kenya recently. But the Transport Security Live Strand at Counter Terror 2015 will cover all these areas, with key addresses from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, the Department for Transport, and industry players such as Boeing.
Lastly, Counter Terror Expo 2015 covers that area whose importance springs into life when terrorists strike or “things go wrong”: the Blue Light Services, the fire and ambulance/medical services. The Ambition seminar covers preparing Blue Light Services for the scale and range of terror attacks, and the building of resilience in the services. On top of this, the manner of response of responders to high scale terror attacks – whether a “Mumbai-style” gun attack, or a chemical/biological attack is also covered by speakers from leading UK and European First Responder organisations.
Ideally, governments and companies wouldn’t have to plan for such events. But the past decades have shown that – unfortunately – the risks and range of terror threats have grown ever higher. Nobody can ignore contingency plans for terror/terror-style attacks, and the recent attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine shows that the risks to non-government bodies can be as high as those for state entities. This is why Counter Terror Expo 2015 aims to provide context, analysis and answers to the vast topic of counter-terror.>
With 300+ suppliers, from leading UK and international primes to specialist SMEs will be exhibiting their latest technology and equipment for law enforcement and security personnel. Some of the leading and innovative exhibitors will include Winkelmann UK, Tactical Electronics LLC, Alford Technologies, Digital RF and Chemring EOD which manufactures Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Counter-IED equipment; Geoquip Worldwide, Terrafix Ltd and Neosoft, producers of secure communications equipment; Counter Measure Systems which specialises in police and special forces equipment and training; ICM X-Ray which produces groundbreaking miniaturised portable X-ray equipment; and RFA Security, providers of explosive detection and sniffer dogs.
Unmanned vehicles are playing an increasingly important role today and CTX exhibitors include ICOR Technology which manufactures the CALIBER® family of robots, offers five different sized platforms providing remote capabilities for SWAT, EOD and Hazmat teams. iRobot’s unmanned ground vehicles are designed to reduce the risk to personnel, operate downrange, report data and deliver predictive intelligence. Unmanned ground vehicles are also a speciality of NIC Instruments, which develops the lightweight First Responder that can be configured to the needs of specific missions. The unit can easily be repaired in the field.
Vickers Energy Group welcomed the Permanent Secretary, Director Generals and policy makers from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to its Trafford Park site last week to discuss the company’s success in the UK market and its growth overseas.
The visit included a round table discussion about the importance of government support to growth, how exports are helping the company to grow and its plans for future development in the UK. The company is working with clients to help manage their energy consumption more effectively and reduce costs and C02 emissions.
This was part of a tour of Greater Manchester carried out by BIS to witness first hand Manchester’s vision for economic growth. The visit highlighted the importance of areas such as Trafford Park to the growth of Greater Manchester as well as opportunities and challenges for the local economy.
David Hilton from Vickers said: “We were delighted to welcome the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to our headquarters in Trafford Park to discuss our business alongside the opportunities and challenges we have in reaching out to expand our client base in the UK and abroad. Our proposition is pretty simple – our energy management system saves our clients thousands of pounds in energy bills and reduces carbon emissions. We are looking forward to a busy year as more and more businesses focus on environmental policies and the need to reduce consumption.”
BIS Permanent Secretary Martin Donnelly said: “It is fantastic to see first-hand the innovative British companies that are leading the world, particularly in important fields like energy management.
“In Government we are working hard to support businesses to grow. Just this week, we invested a further £1 billion in local economies across England by expanding the successful Growth Deals. This will help to train young people, create thousands of new jobs, start hundreds of infrastructure projects and boost business support schemes.”
Vickers saves its customers over £75 million per year and is at the forefront of energy management technology in the UK. On average it saves its customers £18,000 per year.
At Winter NAMM, audio specialist Sennheiser and Apogee Electronics, industry leader in digital audio conversion technology, have announced their collaboration.
At the NAMM Show in Anaheim, Apogee’s Betty Bennett and Sennheiser’s Peter Claussen have jointly announced the cooperation of their companies. Peter Claussen, COO of Sennheiser, said that “Apogee and Sennheiser are a perfect fit. We both operate in the demanding premium sector, serving professional and semi-professional audio customers across the globe. Our product portfolios perfectly complement each other, and I am looking forward to collaborate with a company that has truly pushed the boundaries of digital audio.”
Betty Bennett, Co-Founder and CEO of Apogee, commented, “This is an exciting collaboration for us. Sennheiser is a highly respected brand with an incredible product portfolio and an extensive global reach. Our reputation for delivering premium products to the pro and prosumer markets are well aligned and our core competencies are very complementary. This collaboration will result in innovative, high-quality products that will truly inspire our customers.”
Details about the collaboration are to be revealed at a later date.
Apogee Electronics is an award-winning manufacturer of professional audio devices that advance audio recording and deliver ultimate sound quality, inspiring simplicity and incredible value. Apogee initially made its name with special anti-aliasing filters that solved many of the early problems associated with digital audio. Later, Apogee’s complete conversion systems pushed the envelope of digital audio quality and established Apogee as a key innovator in the field of professional digital audio. Today, Apogee converters and audio interfaces are regarded as the reference standard in the audio industry. Products such as Symphony I/O, Big Ben, Ensemble and Duet all have set the benchmark by which digital audio recording hardware is judged. Now with its latest products JAM and MiC, designed especially for Apple’s iPad, iPhone and GarageBand software, Apogee continues to be at the forefront of recording technology. Apogee’s mission is to build products that offer ultimate sound quality, innovative design and unparalleled value to all music creators from the aspiring artist to the discerning audio professional.
The Sennheiser Group based in Wedemark near Hanover, Germany, was founded in 1945 and has gone on to become a leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Sales in 2013 totaled 590.4 million euros. Sennheiser employs more than 2,500 staff worldwide and operates plants in Germany, Ireland and the USA. The company has a worldwide network of subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Germany, Denmark (Nordic), Russia, Hongkong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, and the USA. It also has long-established trading partners in other countries. Georg Neumann GmbH, Berlin, a maker of studio microphones and monitor speakers, and Sennheiser Communications A/S, a joint venture making headsets for PCs, offices and call centers, are also part of the Sennheiser Group.
More up-to-date information about Sennheiser is available on the internet at www.sennheiser.com
Laura Thomson, Deputy Director, Property Asset Management, UK SBS
Shared business services mutual, UK SBS, has appointed Laura Thomson BSc MRICS as Deputy Director of its Property Asset Management service. She brings over 25 years private sector experience in corporate real estate to help deliver the strategic direction of UK SBS’ public sector clients. UK SBS works with clients across the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and its partner organisations, and the company manages a combined property portfolio of 253,000 m2 occupied by over21,000BIS employees.
Prior to joining UK SBS, Laura held senior roles at Cushman Wakefield, Inter-IKEA, and DTZ where as Director for Corporate Real Estate she was responsible for the delivery of national integrated estates services for both Government and corporate clients including the Crown Prosecution Service and the Health and Safety Executive. Latterly she has acted as an independent consultant providing strategic estate management advice to corporate clients including the Manchester Airport Group.
“I am very pleased to be joining UK SBS at this exciting time and I see a great opportunity to bring my extensive experience of corporate real estate management to help create a centre of excellence for the provision of property services for BIS and the government sector”, says Laura Thomson, Deputy Director, Property Asset Management.
The sharing of business services sits at the heart of the Government’s strategy on economy, efficiency and reform. Laura Thomson will support Director, Roger Taylor, and his team in working with Government to help deliver this in the area of property asset management.
OPSWAT, provider of solutions to secure and manage IT infrastructure, yesterday announced the acquisition of Red Earth Software, developer of email security and secure file transfer solutions.
The Red Earth Software acquisition now enables OPSWAT to extend its advanced threat prevention technology to protect email and file transfer in addition to servers, endpoints and proxy servers. Red Earth Software recently integrated OPSWAT’s multi anti-malware scanner Metascan® into its products Policy Patrol Mail Security, an email security solution for Exchange Server, and Policy Patrol Secure File Transfer, a solution that enables users to securely send large and confidential files. With the Metascan integration, Policy Patrol customers now have access to robust protection against malware threats.
With the acquisition, OPSWAT is acquiring Red Earth Software’s valuable expertise and extensive customer base in the email security and secure file transfer business, helping OPSWAT move faster in achieving its vision of secure data workflow: providing organizations with a central security solution for protecting data originating from various sources.
“We are excited about the Red Earth Software acquisition,” said Benny Czarny, CEO at OPSWAT. “Email security and secure file transfer play an important part in securing data workflow in organisations, and Red Earth Software technologies will be crucial building blocks for our new comprehensive security offerings.”
“With the acquisition, Red Earth Software will be able to grow its existing email security and secure file transfer business, as well as build new comprehensive solutions for securing the total data workflow in organisations,” said Mike Spykerman, CEO of Red Earth Software.