Developing Metrics to Support the Growth of the Occupational Health Market

June 30, 2021 • Reading time 2 minutes

Published 1 July 2021

Workplace ill-health has a significant impact on both employees and businesses, with more than 130 million days lost to sickness absence every year in Great Britain, at a potential cost to the economy of £100 billion per year. Despite this, only 45% of the workforce, and 18% of small employers, have access to Occupational Health (OH) services, which have been shown to reduce sickness absence and support employee return to work.

A key barrier to increasing uptake of OH is that employers, and in particular smaller employers, often have limited understanding of its benefits. As such, there is great potential for the use of outcome data in the OH market, to demonstrate the impact and value of an OH service and give employers access to better information to support and encourage OH purchasing.

Realising the importance of being data led, Edge Health were asked by the Getting It Right First Time Projects Directorate @RNOH to provide expert support for their work with the DHSC. Between December 2020 and March 2021, we led a feasibility study to explore the opportunity for using outcome metrics in the OH market. During this time, we conducted more than 30 interviews with OH providers, employers, business groups, industry leaders and NHS OH.

Several key conclusions arose from this work. Importantly, it demonstrated a need and appetite to support improved outcome metric collection, and highlighted important challenges in this direction of travel. Following on from this work, we were commissioned to run a pilot data collection study, aiming to define a best-practice methodology for the collection of a small number of outcome metrics. This will provide a basis for wider roll-out of this approach, which could ultimately transform the OH market.

For further information please contact George on 07980804956 or [email protected]


Edge Health are a specialist UK healthcare analytics consultancy that use data and insights to improve the delivery of health and care services, so that better outcomes can be delivered more efficiently.