Electronic Reporting - IRELAND
Voluntary reporting of occupational disease diagnosed by medical specialists in the UK dates back to the launch of 'SWORD' (Surveillance of work-related and occupational lung disease) by Professor Corbett McDonald in 1989. Other surveillance schemes followed, notably, 'EPIDERM' - which collates reports of occupational skin disease - and 'OPRA' (Occupational Physicians Reporting Activity), which deals with any occupational or work related disease recognised by occupational physicians
Relaunch as THOR
In 2002 the schemes were relaunched as 'THOR' (The Health and Occupation Research network), which is partly funded by the UK Health and Safety Executive and also from charitable sources. THOR incorporates new features such as the option of electronic reporting and of participating in an online forum, and THOR has spawned various other schemes and initiatives.
Further THOR developments include a reporting scheme for general practitioners with training in occupational medicine (THOR-GP), and which provides free online Continuing Professional Development for the participants. These schemes have generated a wealth of published information for national Health and Safety Executive (UK) statistics, and in peer reviewed journals – for the benefit of medical specialists as well as the workers / patients they care for.
Pilots of EPIDERM and SWORD in the Republic of Ireland
In 2005, following approaches initially from Dr Tom Donnelly and Dr Dan Murphy at the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), pilots of EPIDERM and of SWORD in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) were launched electronically using monthly reporting through the online webforms below.
Funding for Irish SWORD/EPIDERM/OPRA
We are pleased to report that, from 2007 onwards the HSA in the RoI have agreed to fund Irish SWORD/EPIDERM/OPRA. Ethical approval for the Irish THOR schemes has been given by the Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
Through the collaboration of Dr Johnny Bourke (dermatologist) and Dr James Hayes (respiratory physician) 14 dermatologists and 12 respiratory physicians agreed to participate in the pilot study (2005-2006). Over about the first year 77 cases of occupationally related skin disease (mainly contact dermatitis) were reported, as well as 28 cases of occupationally related respiratory disease (including 13 of occupational asthma, 7 of pneumoconiosis and 3 mesotheliomas).
Web-based reporting is currently available for three schemes in the Republic of Ireland - SWORD and EPIDERM and OPRA. Access the forms via the appropriate links below. In the dialog box, enter your 'username' and 'password' and click 'OK'.
Guidelines for submitting data are available via a link on the form.
Patient information sheet
Further information for patients requesting details on THOR can be seen at: THOR patient information sheet (PDF, 110 KB).
Ireland SWORD/EPIDERM contact
The contact is Laura Byrne:
+44 (0)161 275 7103
Ireland OPRA contact
The contact is Susan Taylor:
+44(0)161 275 5531
Ireland SWORD scheme Champion
Dr James Hayes (Consultant in Respiratory Medicine)