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By Facts and Figures, Guidance

We have really enjoyed sharing our blogs throughout 2021 and focusing on specific areas of our physical and mental health for both our professional and personal lives. This month, we are focusing specifically on flexibility. It’s a great area to delve into, flexibility, as it’s something we are all aware of within our own bodies. Its also something we see as inevitably deteriorating as our lives go on. We are in awe of how the young are incredibly flexible and think nothing of the acrobatics they perform through play, and yet we consider aging and decreasing flexibility to go hand in hand and just accept it. However, that really doesn’t have to be the case, and with a focus on flexibility, we can use it to improve so many aspects of our physical health…

Having good flexibility doesn’t have to mean you can do the splits with ease or back bend into a flip as soon as you get up in a morning! Good flexibility is about having ease of movement, reduced stiffness and a general appreciation for the flexibility you need for daily life and exercising. When you have this focus (and you can begin to see improvements in flexibility very quickly with practise), you can benefit from positive effects beyond just being able to touch your toes; such as improved posture and muscle coordination plus reduced risk of injury, stiffness and soreness.

Like most areas of our physical and mental health, improving it requires daily practise. This doesn’t have to be a huge amount of time, it’s the regularity that sounds. However, if you do stick with it, you’re patience and perseverance will be rewarded. An easy way to do just that is to incorporate yoga into your exercise routine. There are thousands of Yoga courses or even free you tube tutorials out there, some of which are just 10 minutes long, that can help your flexibility. However, yoga goes beyond that with a more deep-rooted focus on the mental and physical connection, making it a brilliant exercise to do first thing in the morning as you wake up those muscles and prepare your mind and body for the day ahead. In fact, with such a focus on your mental state and breathing during yoga, your flexibility will often improve without even realising you were focusing on it! Yoga is a great activity to do alone, as it enables you to focus deeply on your current state, breathing and inner emotions. However, it’s also a really enjoyable activity to partake in as a team! Particularly if you find yourself in a busy period of time at work, or you see the staff within the workplace are becoming negative or sluggish. So, get the gang to roll out those mats, join together on Zoom or MS Teams and take part in a short yoga session to start their working day. You’ll be amazed at what this does to morale!

It’s also important to maintain good flexibility if you are hoping to improve your overall physical health in other ways too. Maybe you’re taking up running this year, joining the gym or you’ve invested in a bike. Whatever it may be, you need to ensure you’re allowing yourself to dedicate time to flexibility to help decrease the risk of muscular and skeletal issues along the way. Without flexibility, your muscles shorten, become tighter and make your exercise more difficult to undertake and enjoy.

So, as we can see, focusing on flexibility is not only important for our everyday lives and exercise plans, but essential. But what else can you do?

Pilates: Slightly more physical than yoga, Pilates is a brilliant exercise that will help improve flexibility and more specifically, posture. Try an online Zoom class! You’ll be amazed at what appears on the face of it to be a very simple, slow and easy routine is actually quite demanding and tests your ability, working up a sweat!

Warm up: Whenever you partake in exercise, be sure to keep your warm up dynamic. Include stretches and movements from different muscle groups such as a lunge with an arm extension. Never miss your warm up! It’s just as important as the rest of the work out!

Deskercise: Yep, it’s a real thing! Incorporating simply exercise movements into your day whilst not even leaving your desk! Try a seated spinal twist or hamstring stretch. Or, try one of these great stretches for desk workers. Chest/Heart opening exercises are great for desk workers, being hunched over a computer all day you can begin to feel those shoulders creeping forward. So many of us suffer with poor posture and sore mid backs after a long day in the office, so set little reminders to make sure you take 5 minutes here and there for simple movements to reduce that pain and increase that flexibility.

Take stock of your body right now as you read this, are there areas you feel are stiff, tired and sore with poor flexibility? Now is the time to rectify that! It’s never too late and with a little practise, patience and time you’ll be amazed at the improvements you see. This is not about just accepting the flexibility you have, it’s about aiming for the flexibility you want and need for a better, healthier life.

Balance or Burn Out

By Awareness, Guidance, Mental Health, News

The world of the workplace is changing. This year has seen a monumental shift in where, how and why we work the way we do. And, as increasing pressures and demands at work can be one of the biggest worries to the mental health of people nationwide, this is becoming even more of a concern during the pandemic. The effect of increased working hours and high pressure jobs are having a huge impact on lifestyle, which can be detrimental to the sustainability of good mental health. 

There is no set system on how to create a healthy work life balance, mainly as it is susceptible to change with the varying demands of life, like having children or changing career paths. What is important though, is understanding what works for you, at a certain time and having the knowledge to control the balance between work and life. 

The Mental Health Foundation have researched that more than 40% of employees have neglected parts of their home life due to workplace stress. In turn, this can increase a person’s vulnerability to mental health problems. 

Juggling Pressure and Wellbeing

Whether you are a CEO of your own business or working part time, it can be overwhelming trying to juggle the daily pressures of life and keeping up to speed at work. Having a successful career is more significant to some people and raising a family is the most important job to others – that is why there is no right or wrong answer. But what you can do is try to prioritise for where you are currently at. 

“As a person’s weekly hours increase, so can their feelings of unhappiness” – Mental Health Foundation.

Preventing Burnouts and having a healthy wellbeing, no matter how you manage it, will help all other aspects of your life fall into place. Having time to relax and unwind will re-charge your body and mind ready for the next day, no matter what it has to bring. 

How Employers Can Help

A happy workforce is a productive workforce. Employees that have a positive work-life balance do a better job at work and promoting this can be beneficial to employers and employees alike. Far too often companies are pushing their staff to work harder and for longer hours, which tends to be for the benefit of themselves. By driving the balance of work and life into your company’s core values, you are instantly setting a standard that you have the wellbeing of your employees at the heart of the business. 

Openly having discussions with employees at work and assessing what is and isn’t working within the company is a great start and will instantly show areas that can be worked on as a team. From encouraging annual leave, the odd early finish on a Friday and discussing personal life with staff is a sure way to start open conversations and hopefully spot burn out before it’s too late.

Maintaining Work-life Balance

Work life balance is not intended to be equal on both parts. Thinking about the current demands of your professional life and personal life can be the first step into analysing what fits where.

You may find that sometimes work priorities are 70% and life is reduced to 30%, but when a family event is on the horizon it switches to 20% work and 80% life. The right balance for you today might be different from yesterday and will change again tomorrow. But that is Ok. What is important is that you are in control and being realistic to your own needs. 

Stress is often linked to a lack of work-life balance.

Stress is one of the most common causes of short-term and long-term absence (CIPD, 2012). The HSE estimate that 2,000,000 people in the UK are currently suffering from an illness caused by, or made worse by, their work environment and if allowed to pile up, can lead to deeper mental health problems and personal distress. 

At Acorn Occupational Health we can provide an anonymous Stress/Wellbeing Audits which help provide an insight to any stress issues that your company may have, alongside management referral appointments with a nurse to help employees open up about any stresses at home or work. For more information regarding services that may be of benefit to your workplace, please contact us on 01260 277797 or

Know Your Numbers

By Facts and Figures, Guidance, News

Know Your Numbers week is here, and at Acorn, we feel it’s a brilliantly effective campaign to enable employers and employees throughout the UK to understand and appreciate the importance of being aware of their blood pressure.

During this week, you’re encouraged to get a blood pressure check and to familiarise yourself with the good, the bad and the steps you can take to improve any blood pressure issues for long-term health. 

Did you know that over six million people in the UK have high blood pressure and don’t even know it? When your heart beats, it pumps blood around your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels. This is called high blood pressure, or hypertension. Over time it can lead to a number of health problems including heart attacks, stroke, kidney disease and some forms of dementia. 

Every day 350 people have a heart attack or stroke that could have been prevented. So it’s time to wise up and know your numbers!

Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) using a simple machine. When you have it measured it will be written as two numbers, a top number and a bottom number. For example, if your reading is 120/80mmHg, your blood pressure is 120 over 80. This is a healthy blood pressure reading, but what about others?

140/90mmHg or over – you may have high blood pressure: Most doctors use 140/90mmHg as the cut off for point for diagnosing high blood pressure. This is the point where your risk of serious health problems increases. You may be prescribed medications and given advice regarding changes that you can make to your lifestyle to bring your blood pressure down.

120/80mmHg up to 140/90mmHg – pre-high blood pressure: Also called high-normal blood pressure. This is not high blood pressure, but it is a little higher than it should be and means you could go on to develop high blood pressure. See how you can make healthy changes to your lifestyle to lower it.

90/60mmHg up to 120/80mmHg – ideal blood pressure: Also called normal blood pressure. Your blood pressure reading is healthy. At this level you have a much lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you to keep your blood pressure in the healthy range.

90/60mmHg or lower – you may have low blood pressure: This usually isn’t a problem, but it can sometimes make you feel faint or dizzy or could be a sign of another health problem.

Don’t let all these numbers, facts and figures cause you too much concern though. There are simple steps you can take to make big changes to your blood pressure health. And those changes will have ever-lasting effects on your health for the long term. Getting active, keeping to a healthy weight and stopping smoking are some of the best things you can do. Eating your five a day, cutting back on salt and saturated fats and having an all-round healthy, balanced diet is also a great way to keep those numbers in the healthy range. However, if you do have further concerns and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, there are medications that you can take to lower it.

How can Acorn help?

As a business, it’s important to help your employees be wise to their health to improve their wellbeing, fitness to work and secure your position as a compassionate and dedicated employer. Along with blood pressure, we can help give a comprehensive health check to your staff with our well-person medicals. We can carry out a number of checks whilst on site such as Cholesterol and glucose, blood pressure, pulse and BMI. These can all be performed on site with ease to give your staff the reassurance and guidance they need to take better care of their health for their personal and professional lives. 

It’s more important than ever to be aware of and help employees with their health. When you work with Acorn you can ensure you’re doing all you can to take care of your workforce and your business with simple, effective checks and advice. When you and your staff know your numbers, you can begin to take necessary and important steps to improve them for the better. Simple lifestyle changes may be all it takes and you can help your team achieve that with Acorn.

Speak with us today about our well person medical and know your numbers!

Evolution to Improve Efficiency

Evolution to Improve Efficiency

By Guidance, News

New processes and changes can sometimes be difficult to implement. However; once implemented, the resulting increased efficiency from this evolution is worth the pain. More so now than at any other time, businesses are adapting to continue providing an effective service to their customers. Many aspects of our occupational health service are a mandatory requirement and therefore it was essential that  we  also adapted our own business and introduced new (and quite exciting) processes to allow us to continue to support our customers with regards to annual health surveillance and employee wellbeing support. These processes lay the pathway for further improving the efficiency of services that we provide.

What exactly have we introduced and how can it help our customers?

‘Our own purpose-built occupational health portal – Orchid’

Our newest, and arguably our most popular addition is our personalised occupational health portal that has been tailored to meet the specific requirements of Acorn’s customers.

What can it do?

  • Enables our nurses to carry out health screening remotely, including everything from pre-placements, health surveillance and fit for task medicals to sickness absence and management referrals. No matter what the future holds, we will always be able to support you and your employees.
  • It electronically sends health questionnaires to employees to be completed for online screening remotely or prior to our visit, meaning that the nurse’s day can run without a hitch
  • Saving the planet – Orchid is a paperless system, so no need to print anything.
  • Submit and track the progress of Management Referrals on your own company dashboard.
  • All reports are stored online in a centralised, secure customer dashboard.
  • Orchid gives us the ability to summarise data quickly, including review dates.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams or ‘Teams’, is something that we have been utilising for some time now. However, it really came into its full glory during the peak of lockdown restrictions.

Teams is a secure communication and collaboration platform that allows you to engage internally or externally via video, phone or online chat. You can also share your screen, send files, edit spreadsheets and make appointments in the diary. Teams has been a key player in keeping Acorn connected with our customers, and our own team whilst working from home during the pandemic. Being well connected is something that we value highly for our team and our customers.

How can Teams benefit our customers?

  • Fancy a chat? Teams allows us to hold meetings from anywhere. Over the past few months, we were able to keep in touch with our customers and hold our regular catch up meetings via video to develop plans moving forward.
  • Video consultations – also perfect for those remote Management Referral assessments where an employee will gain from seeing a friendly, professional face as they discuss any pressing issues, injuries, or return-to-work concerns. Video consultations have also proven a success for employees returning to work from shielding against Covid-19.
  • Teams is providing a central location between Acorn and our customers where we can share essential information such as the most recent health warnings, new services that we are providing, guidance from the HSE and general documentation.

Mobile unit

St Ives, Southampton, Carlisle, Ipswich, our mobile unit can travel the country. With the mobile unit having two soundproof hearing booths for audiometry testing, it is perfect for loud construction sites and sites without suitable medical rooms.

What else can our mobile unit offer?

  • It’s a Covid-19 controlled area – The unit allows us to carefully control the environment to significantly reduce the risk of cross contamination during Covid-19.
  • With two hearing booths on the unit we can carry out up to 56 hearing tests in a regular day.
  • For sites with a high requirement for audiometry testing, the unit is a more cost-effective option.

Our team

The core of Acorn Occupational Health is our team. Although our team is not a ‘process’, they are paramount in helping us to support our customers and implement the processes that we offer. Our nurses, technicians and physicians assess hundreds of people each week to help them monitor their health, identify and most importantly prevent work related illness. As well as this, they are helping businesses to function safely and continue to meet their legal obligation to health surveillance. During the pandemic, our clinical team are doing everything they can to continue to support our customers and help them to function safely. Acorn’s clinical team work tirelessly without hesitation, doing what they do best – caring.

Supporting our Nurses and Technicians on the front line is our highly experienced, knowledgeable and supportive office team. As our customers first point of contact, the office team are always on hand to provide the best advice and guidance to our customers. With ongoing training each week for both office based and clinical staff, we ensure that every part of Acorn’s team are rich with knowledge to support our customers with accurate guidance and procedures.

In an ever-changing world, it is important to reflect on what adaptations can be made to benefit your customers and your own team. Whether that be a process to help improve the wellbeing of your employees, a new software system like Teams to add to the quality of communication or new training to help improve overall customer experience. Being versatile has never been more important.

How has your business evolved recently, and how will it help your team internally and your clients?

Healthy Eating for Work and Wellness

By Awareness, Guidance, News

When someone says the words “healthy eating” it is so easy to conjure up images of gloopy grey shakes and bowls piled high with wilted shades of green; not exactly thrilling. We all know that eating healthy has so many benefits, but making that commitment is easier said than done, right?

But, what if adopting even the simplest, cheapest and tastiest changes to your diet could develop life-changing results?

We’re not talking about body image or weight here; we’re talking about your mental health. We are talking about your energy levels and your ability to not only cope at work but thrive.

I, like so many of us have a love/hate relationship with food. It is so easy to delve into a delicious takeaway or get carried away with the sweet treats during a movie night. But when I do tuck into a plate bursting with vibrancy and freshness, it sets something alight. That’s because healthy eating doesn’t just benefit your body, it benefits your mind, too. You may not notice the results right away, but after a few days you’ll realise the better you eat, the better your mood, the better your memory and the more energy you have with less moments of fatigue.

All of these benefits make such a difference in the workplace. Being able to complete tasks with ease, and not be counting down the hours ‘til your head can hit the pillow is a huge relief. Bye bye snooze button, and hello morning smoothie! In addition, suddenly life becomes less ‘eat, sleep, work, repeat’, and you begin to seek more interesting ways to make the most of the time you have outside of work too. If you’ve always been intrigued by a sport or fancy learning a new instrument, try some brilliant healthy brain foods like fish, nuts, berries and wholegrains. Get that brain buzzing for work AND play!

As an employer, we have a great role to play in the importance of healthy eating for the workplace too. Seeing employees in higher spirits, bursting to get the job done with efficiency and energy is inspiring. When the workforce eats well, they perform well, but this isn’t just about promoting the benefits of healthy eating for the good of the firm. It’s about each and every mental health state of each employee within the company. As employers, we can offer ideas, solutions, tips and advice to staff on energy-boosting, hunger quashing snacks to get them through a long shift, or simple, cost-effective meal plans and prepping to keep them organised and energised throughout the week. Healthy eating certainly requires more thought than reaching for those unhealthy options, but with good organisation and a positive attitude, it can become second nature. And it’s our job to help our employees achieve this. After all, they spend so much of their time at work, so we have a duty to make sure they are fuelled and fulfilled to the best of their ability.

Personally, my quick go-to lunches include a salad with all the healthy goodies that I can find; Nuts, fish, vegetables, some feta cheese and dressing! It’s super cheap, fast and filling. Salad isn’t for everyone though, and it’s not the be-all and end-all of a healthy diet, so if it’s not for you, try couscous, eggs or crunchy carrots and cucumber batons with dip. Or if you’re in need of something more wholesome to get you through a long shift, be sure to separate a portion of your evening meal off the night before to take with you the next day. Sometimes, there’s something so wholesome and warming about the leftovers from the night before, isn’t there? And, don’t forget to start your day the right way! If you don’t have time to whip up some eggs and avocado on toast, then throw a vibrant mix of fruits and berries into a blender and whip up a smoothie to enjoy during your commute. Many supermarkets now stock frozen smoothie mixes which are incredibly easy to use, and mean your smoothie stays colder and fresher for longer – Perfect during these summer months!

Check out some of the links below to recipes we love to get us inspired and fill our intake with goodness!

Want super tasty breakfast smoothies? Try

Want a lunch you’ll really love? Check out

Need to combat that long shift fatigue? Then read more about The Energy ‘Diet’ from the NHS here…

Need dinner recipes that won’t take all our precious evening creating?

I think one of the biggest hurdles many people face when considering a change of course to a healthier lifestyle with their food is too much focus is on the benefits to our body. Of course, eating healthy has endless benefits to our physical health, and during these times, the more we can do to keep in better physical health the better (being physically healthier helps ward off illness and fight disease for instance). But, if more of a focus was put on why it’s so good for our mental health it would be easier to appreciate. With the mental health benefits, the results are felt, rather than seen, so if offers an emotional connection. And during these uncertain times, a warming embrace and comforting control over our emotions can only be welcomed.

And if we can eat food that makes us FEEL good, not just LOOK good, that’s got to be worth a try, right?

World Health Day – We Salute All Of Our Nurses

By Awareness, Coronavirus, Guidance, News

World Health Day is recognised on the 7th April to promote awareness on various health related topics from around the world. This day marks the anniversary of the World Health Organisation which was founded on the 7th April 1948.

World Health Day 2020 highlights the current status of nursing around the world – which at the moment has never been more crucial, therefore we should continuously support our nurses over the globe.

This year we are celebrating the incredible work of our nurses and midwifes, which couldn’t be more appropriate during the COVID-19 pandemic. This day is designed to celebrate the work of our nurses and health care workers to remind the whole world of the crucial role in which nurses from all sectors play to keep the world healthy, even more so than ever during this crisis.

Nurses and health workers are all at the forefront of the COVID-19 response and continuously providing high quality care when its needed the most.

These professions are the backbone of any health care team, whether nurses work in emergency services, child health, A&E, mental health, occupational health, NICU, schools, public health and elderly care (to name just a few) – we salute you all.

To honour #WorldHealthDay we have asked some of Acorns wonderful nurses to look at what guided them down their nursing path, previous experiences and what they love the most about being a nurse.

Isabel Burrows – Clinical Lead of Acorn Occupational Health

“When I was 4 years old my dad broke his leg in a road traffic accident and was in hospital for 6 months. During this time we used to visit him once a week. I became fascinated by the nurses. I loved how smart they looked and the discipline they demonstrated. I went over to one of the nurses and asked if I could put my name down on the waiting list so that I could become a nurse when I was old enough. She wrote my name down on the list. I truly believed I was on the list until I was a teenager.

“I was never in any doubt of what I wanted to do. I applied for a student nurse post at the same hospital (North Staffs Royal Infirmary) where my dad was nursed when I was 18 years old. I started work as a student nurse in September 1984. I qualified in December 1987. Our nursing set all passed the course together. We still keep in touch and meet up about 4 times a year.

“I have never regretted becoming a nurse. I have loved every job that I have had. I enjoy caring for people and the versatility of the work.

“My Dad who is sadly no longer with me told me ‘if you become a nurse, you will never be without a job’ and he was so right. My parents used to call me Matron with affection.

“I love working in Occupational Health because it concentrates on prevention rather than waiting for people to become ill.”

Isabel Burrows

Arlene Moss – Senior Occupational Health Advisor

“I trained in nursing from 1973 – 1976. I worked in A&E rising to a Sister over 18 years and I loved it. It always made you feel like you were making a difference and helping so many people.”

“Following having my 3 sons, now 28, 26 and 23, I trained and moved into Occupational Health. I then worked for 19 years as an Occupational Health Advisor and Manager for and FTSE 100 company and worked with a fantastic, forward thinking manager.

“After leaving there, I worked for a year at the Transport Police before joining the team at Acorn as a Senior Occupational Health Advisor, which I love. No day is the same and every case is so different. Spending so much time at work, you really do have to enjoy what you do.”

Arlene Moss

Sharon Proudlove – Occupational Health Screening Nurse

“From a young age, I was always surrounded by ‘medical’ stuff – my dad had spent the latter part of his army career working in the medical corps and then went onto become a First Aider for the Gas Board, taking part in numerous First Aid competitions up and down the UK. He became the go to person for anyone in the neighbourhood long before 111 came about!”

“I was torn between wanting to train as a nurse or to work with people with disabilities  so my careers teacher suggested I train as a nurse for people with Learning Disabilities, I didn’t even know there was such a qualification! So that’s what I did. From 1982 to 1995 I worked in a large hospital for people with very profound learning and physical disabilities and challenging behaviours with complex mental health issues too. I rose through the ranks becoming a Ward Sister and then a Night Shift Coordinator.

“But I still hankered to be an RGN – so in 2004 I retrained and gained my RGN qualification. I love doing all things clinical and medical, give me a mucky wound or an abscess to dress and I’m in my element.

“I’ve worked in various specialities within the hospital setting and am proud of my profession and my only regret is not having got into Occupational Health Nursing 15 years ago.

“I love being a nurse. When someone says if you had your time all over again what would you be? Well, I’d still be a nurse!”

Sharon Proudlove

Claire McMullan – Occupational Health Screening Nurse

“My dreams of becoming a nurse started when I was a little girl maybe at the age of 6 – seeing my auntie being a nurse in her dress, belt and cap. She was my first inspiration.

“I started my career in nursing as a Health Care Assistant in the NHS many years ago. I always enjoyed providing the best care I could to my patients and knowing they were comfortable and listening to everyone’s life stories and experiences.

“I eventually moved into Occupational Health as a Technician which I really enjoyed. I quickly outgrew this role, so I decided to go and do my access course into nursing and then went onto my nursing Degree. During this time I unfortunately lost a close friend who passed away suddenly. She always knew I wanted to be a nurse, where she always kept on my case trying to push me to do it. With her passing I decided to pursue my dream for her and myself.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a student nurse over 3 years, I met a lot of knowledgeable, smart and caring professionals along the way which moulded me into the nurse I am today.

“I’m now back in Occupational Health and provide support to employers and employees, and monitor the health of the workforce. Again, I meet a lot of people on a daily basis and I know I make a difference to them. I’m there to support individuals, speak for them when they feel unable to and offer guidance that can be implemented into the workplace.  I still have a lot to learn in this area of nursing, but I know I will shine and continue to do the best I can. I work in a great team of other Nurses, Technicians and of course our Admin Team of whom all support me daily.

“All nurses will be committed, provide care, show compassion, have courage, communicate to others where required and are competent in what we do.”

“I know I contain all these qualities and I will always be the best nurse I can be … I am proud to be a nurse.”

Claire McMullan

To all of the nurses and health care professionals out there that are working hard, not just today, but everyday – we salute you!

Coronavirus Antibody Tests

By Coronavirus, Guidance, News

Acorn now have the opportunity to provide an instant, rapid antibody test for Coronavirus (Covid-19). Please find questions and answers regarding the test detailed below

This testing regarding coronavirus follows requests for this service from many of our customers.

Testing Times:

  • 5 minutes to take the blood sample
  • 15 minutes to read
  • 5 minutes to explain the result to the individual and write a certificate/report

Need to know:

  • The kits are ordered on demand and delivery takes 1-2 weeks.
  • Once the kits have been ordered, they cannot be cancelled.

For more information regarding the antibody test kits please get in touch with Acorn. You can call us on 01260 277797 or email:

Questions and Answers:

How is the test performed?

This is a blood test taken from a finger prick. A nurse or technician will attend to employees who are not displaying obvious symptoms (cough and high temperature). The nurse or technician will be wearing appropriate PPE.

What does this test tell you?

The test will provide information on antibodies for Covid-19. This will give the employee information as to whether they have developed any antibodies. The test provides results for both the IgM and IgG antibodies.

What do the antibodies tell you?

  • If no IgM or IgG antibodies are detected it means that the individual has not been in contact with the virus but may be at risk if they do come into contact with Covid-19 or if they have mild symptoms they may be in the “window” with early stages of infection.
  • IgM antibodies detected in an initial blood sample mean that it is likely that the person became infected with Covid-19 virus within recent weeks or they are in the early stages of infection and should self-isolate.
  • IgG and IgM antibodies detected in an initial blood sample mean that the individual is in the active phase of infection but the human body is developing some immunity to Covid-19.
  • IgG antibodies are detected but the IgM is negative, then it is likely that the person had an infection sometime in the past and they are clear of infection meaning that they have gained antibodies and are safe to work.

Does the test need to be sent to a laboratory?

No, the test provides an instant result within 15 minutes. However, like all screening tests further laboratory testing may be required based on both current and future guidelines issued by Public Health England.

What happens if the test is positive?

We will provide advice according to the result

Is the test validated?

The test is validated and CE marked for professional use only. Public Health England have not validated the test yet and when/if they do it is possible that all the test kits will be redirected to the NHS.

What is the accuracy of the test?

This test is 99.2% accurate

If you would like any more information regarding the coronavirus antibody test, give us a call on 01260 277797.

Guidance For People Working From Home

By Guidance, News

A nurse from our team at Acorn has prepared the following guidance to anyone working from home.

There can be many benefits to an employee for working from home including increased flexibility, improved productivity, reduced travel costs, enhanced work life balance and a comfortable working environment. There are however things to consider in order to maintain your health,  well-being and productivity when working from home. Employees working from home are ideally: happy in their own company, self-disciplined and motivated, resilient, able to work without supervision and are able to separate work from home life.

Please see below some points to consider when working from home.

Ensure you have a dedicated work area. If using a laptop, consider having separate mouse and keyboard and continue good principles of good Display Screen Equipment (DSE) posture. If possible and available, use a computer desk and chair and sit with your back supported and arms horizontal to the keyboard.

Make the most of technology

There are many programs, apps and tools available to make it faster and easier to cross tasks off your to-do list. Use these tools to your advantage by setting reminders to be sure you accomplish everything on your list. Keep connected with other colleagues through use of Skype, Zoom and Whats App groups.

Be mindful of of technology distractions – There are so many things you can do with internet access — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, etc. The time you spend “screen sucking” during work hours translates into more time you’ll need to work when you should be done for the day. Occasional checks are okay but try to restrict these during working hours or use a timer to be sure an hour hasn’t passed without you noticing.

Take regular breaks

Breaks are crucial, even if it’s just to walk to the kitchen to refresh your coffee or check the mailbox, a change of scenery can greatly improve your ability to focus and concentrate. Just a few minutes of thinking about something other than work can help to re-energise and focus. This will also allow you to avoid eye strain and keep those headaches at bay.

Plan ahead

Schedule appointments and personal activities at the beginning or end of the day, whenever possible, as you would if you were working in an office. It’s more efficient to go to the dentist early in the morning and work a little later, rather than stopping your work flow in the middle of the day.

Making a to-do list whilst planning will help to prepare what you can to ensure that you can hit the ground running. It will help to kick start the day smoothly.

Enforce willpower

It can be difficult to work from home when you’re surrounded by chores you could do and hobbies or activities you enjoy. Add these into the planning of your day if required, but set boundaries for yourself so that you are continuing to enforce the correct balance when working from home.

General well-being

  • Eat Healthy – Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and drink 6 glasses of water each day. Try to avoid the easily accessible snacks where possible.
  • Exercise – Try to perform 30 minutes of exercise, 5 times per week. This can be a walk at lunch time or yoga in the morning, try something new.
  • Social Contact – Keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues via telephone or Skype.
  • Sleep well – Try to have 7 to 8 hours sleep per night and do not look at monitors and screens prior to bedtime.

Everyone works differently, but hopefully these points will help to guide you in the right direction when working from home.