04 Apr Local MP’s ears and lungs get the all clear from Harlow Occupational Health Service

Staff at Harlow Occupational Health Service (HOHS) hosted a visit from Conservative MP for Harlow, Robert Halfon on 15 June. The visit followed a letter to Robert from CEO, Debbie Watkins, raising concerns about the issue of possible deregulation of first aid training.

Robert was quick to acknowledge Debbie’s letter and was subsequently invited to come and see for himself the professional first aid training and other services on offer at HOHS. He was treated to demonstrations of resuscitation and defibrillation techniques by one of HOHS’s top trainers, Peter Stilts, and even had his hearing and lung function tested during the visit. Both were clear for Robert but are not always so for some HOHS clients whose job roles may put them at risk of damage to hearing and lungs such as operating heavy machinery or working closely with paints, glues and other chemicals. Early testing by responsible employers prevents long-term damage and helps employers take action to reduce and eliminate risks to employees.

During the two-hour visit, Robert met with HOHS Board Chairman, Adrian Archer, Vice Chairman John Hammett and Board Director Cliff Moore as well as other members of staff including Medical Officer Dr. Challen. Staff reported that Robert seemed genuinely pleased to be visiting and commented that he was finding it very informative. Later that day he tweeted “Great visit to meet staff at Harlow Occupational Health Centre. Lungs and ears all fine too,” and later told Debbie, “I loved my visit and your employees are amazing”,

Debbie too was delighted that Robert took the time to visit, saying “It’s lovely that our local MP supports local businesses in this way. He was genuinely interested in what we do and had lots of knowledge about other local businesses – in fact he’s put me in touch with another local business who can help us secure funding we need for a new physio room. We were really pleased to be able to show him around and share what we do with him. It’s lovely to have an MP who takes a real interest in local businesses.”