By Paul Caudwell, Health Wellbeing Manager

Duradiamond Healthcare are an independent business, with 14 years’ experience providing occupational health services to some of the UK’s leading employers. Our new partnership with them will massively improve our colleagues’ access to health support, which is a really important part of our wellbeing approach.

We’re aware that some colleagues are encountering health problems, which could ultimately impact their ability to work, ranging from illness or injury, to mental health issues. These can lead to high numbers of absences across our businesses. Each year we see around 1,500 colleagues use our occupational health service provider, so it’s important they have this service at their fingertips, so they know who to turn to when needed.

Our people managers told us they were dissatisfied with our previous provider – the service just wasn’t working as they needed it to. This tied-in with feedback we’d seen from this year’s Talkback Pulse surveys – where colleagues told us that Co-op cares for them less than their manager does. Bearing this in mind, we needed to find an occupational health provider who’d work hand-in-hand with our people leaders and their teams when they need them most.

Through Duradiamond Healthcare, we’ll see a step change in occupational health support. From the get-go they’ll make sure that our managers’ referrals are spot on – if they’re not, they’ll actively coach them so they’re accurate next time. Colleagues can also benefit from ‘tele medicine’, shifting away from face-to-face support to phone consultations, meaning they get the help they need much quicker. The new service is paper-free too – including all appointments and reports.

But we can’t solely rely on Duradiamond to solve our wellbeing challenges. It’s a dual responsibility for both managers and colleagues to have open and honest conversations around something which is impacting them being able to come into work and do their jobs.

I’d encourage our people managers to intervene as soon as they can when they know something isn’t quite right and understand the ‘why’. By that I mean, if a member of their team doesn’t seem to be themselves and clearly needs some support, they must talk to them to get a better understanding of their troubles. Dealing with people issues and checking our team’s wellbeing isn’t always at the top of our priorities, but we need to challenge this thinking. But we need to be proactive and not sit on things. We need everyone to know they’re not on their own.

Refer to the occupational health guide on the Colleague Site for more details.

Additional information:
If you have any queries about our wellbeing support, please contact Don’t forget that Lifeworks provide easy access to a whole range of wellbeing support, inside and outside of work. There’s also Neyber who can help improve your financial wellbeing. And if our people managers aren’t sure, or encounter something which is a bit different – our ER Services team are at the end of the phone.