Please note that over the summer months the newsletter will run on a fortnightly schedule.
School's out for summer
The summer holidays are upon us and whether you're travelling overseas, or planning a staycation, it's important to check that you and your family are up to date with your MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccinations.
There is currently a measles outbreak across Europe and young adults aged 15 years and older are particularly at risk.
Measles is a highly-infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes leads to serious complications, particularly for adults.
The initial symptoms of measles develop around ten days after a person is infected and can include:
cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing and a cough
sore, red eyes that may be sensitive to light
a high temperature (fever), which may reach around 40C
a few days later, a red-brown blotchy rash will appear. This usually starts on the head or upper neck, before spreading outwards to the rest of the body
Symptoms usually resolve in seven to ten days.
If in doubt about your vaccination status, Public Health England advises you to get in touch with your GP to check your medical records and also to check the Foreign Office's travel advice to be aware of the latest information about your destination and any health requirements. You're never too old to be vaccinated.
Employers can order free leaflets for their workplaces, which share key messages from the national MMR campaign targeting 15 to 25 year-olds, here.
If you're planning to travel outside the UK, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in other parts of the world. General advice about which travel vaccinations you may need and where to get them can be found here.
For those travelling further afield, to Asia, Africa, or parts of Central or South America, a course of pre-exposure rabies vaccines should be considered, particularly if the visit will include activities such as cycling, running or working with animals, or travelling to remote areas where medical care may not be readily available.
Rabies is a rare, but very serious, infection of the brain and nerves and is almost always fatal once symptoms appear. Rabies is spread to people by contact with saliva from an infected wild or domestic animal, usually through a bite, scratch, or a lick to broken skin. Further information about rabies and how to protect against it can be found here.
An EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) is free and while it does not replace travel insurance, it enables state healthcare in other EEA countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Apply for an EHIC here.
The City of London Corporation is working with the London Borough of Hackney to ensure that the local area is Autism-friendly and that everyone with autistic-spectrum conditions living or working in the City or Hackney is able to live a fulfilling and rewarding life, within a society that accepts and understands them.
This work includes developing a strategy, which - among other key elements - looks at how local businesses can be more accessible to people with Autism. This includes reasonable adjustments, training for staff and more.
"I thought, this thing called the trading floor sounds pretty great. You're out with clients. It's fast-paced. It's like the films...And I loved my first year. It was exciting and there was a huge learning curve...Being out late with clients and getting limited sleep may have contributed to my poor health diagnosis...It became this perpetual cycle of not sleeping, then worrying about not hitting my targets and not getting paid or promoted...It was draining me. I wanted to learn and grow but I just felt like a hamster in a wheel." - "The trillion-dollar taboo: why it's time to stop ignoring mental health at work", FT Magazine
It's on us
The topic of alcohol in the workplace cuts across a range of business priorities, including diversity, equality and inclusion, health, safety and wellbeing, CSR and responsible business.
The City Corporation is inviting City businesses, workers and others to share their comments on its draft Alcohol Strategy, via an online consultation (open until 10 September).
The strategy aims to bring together the work that is undertaken locally to reduce alcohol-related harm, including among the City's 513,000 workers. It focuses on encouraging the City's different populations to safely and responsibly enjoy alcohol without compromising their own, or others' safety, health, or productivity.
Please support this work by completing the consultation yourself and encouraging your workforce to do the same. (photo credit James Burns)
Take a walk
Have you heard of "Go Jauntly"? It's a free online resource and app with a range of curated walks around London and beyond, providing some great inspiration for getting out and about during the summer. Check it out here.
If you prefer getting about on two wheels, the City Corporation offers free cycle skills training with expert instructors to anyone who works, studies or lives in the Square Mile, whether they are a first-time rider or seasoned cyclist. This includes:
Bespoke cycling-related packages for businesses
One-to-one Cycle Skills sessions
Family Cycle Skills sessions
Sessions are delivered by a partner organisation and can be tailored to suit individual abilities and goals. Find out more here.
Suicide Prevention Awareness
According to the NHS, every four minutes someone attempts suicide in the UK.
Stigma and not talking about mental health struggles, or suicide itself, can often exacerbate this issue.
The majority of people who die by suicide in the City are not known to local mental health services, nor do they work or live in the Square Mile. Being able to spot when someone may be at crisis point and when an intervention is needed, is therefore vital. This involves upskilling the general public, including City workers, on suicide prevention.
As part of the wider efforts around suicide prevention being taken by the City of London Corporation, City of London Police and key partners, a short, City-specific Suicide Prevention Awareness session is being delivered on the morning of Friday 11 October, aimed at representatives from City businesses. Find out more about this opportunity here.
A "guidance on suicide intervention" leaflet is available to download, for circulation within City firms, sharing tips on what to do if you encounter someone who may be at crisis point.
"Know Your Numbers Week" is the UK's biggest blood pressure-testing event. Blood pressure testing is the only way to find out if your blood pressure is too high or low, because most people won't have any obvious symptoms. Having a test is easy and could save your life.
If you're worried about your blood pressure at any point, you can ask for a blood pressure test. It's recommended that all adults over the age of 40 have their blood pressure tested at least every five years, so any potential problems can be detected early.
Tests can be accessed via GP surgeries, some pharmacies, and through NHS Health Check appointments.
It's also possible to bring blood pressure testing on-site at your workplace, to make it easy and quick for employees to get checked. A list of providers offering this service to businesses (for a fee), can be found here.
A Business Healthy member organisation is looking for experiences and/ or best practice from other employers providing support and signposting to staff experiencing bereavement. If you're able to share insights from your organisation, please get in touch here.
The Lord Mayor's Appeal is organising a breakfast seminar in September on measuring diversity and inclusion, and is looking for a small organisation to share their experience of work they have done in this area. If your firm would like to be involved, please drop us a line here.
Do you use LinkedIn or Twitter? Make sure you follow Business Healthy to stay up-to-date on news and developments in the world of employee health and wellbeing in the Square Mile.
Business Healthy is funded and delivered by the City of London Corporation's Public Health team, supporting the City Corporation's statutory obligations to ensure the health and wellbeing of the more than half a million people who work in the Square Mile each day.