A new NHS network called NHS Plus has been officially launched to market occupational health services to the private sector, generating income for the NHS to invest in health services.

The NHS Plus network — backed by a new dedicated NHS Plus Website — is intended to provide the first national forum for people and firms to find information on NHS occupational health services.

Launching the service health minister Hazel Blear said: Working with the private sector is not a one-way arrangement. NHS Plus will help the NHS reap the rewards of its own innovation with income generated from providing occupational health services."

The launch of the new network is also intended to make occupational health a more attractive speciality within the NHS as staff will find themselves dealing with a variety of industries and situations.

NHS Plus was first announced by Health Secretary Alan Milburn in a speech he gave at the London School of Economics in spring 2000. So far 100 Occupational Health Departments have joined the NHS Plus service, generating a turnover of £10 million.