Health and Well-being at Leicester City Community Health Service


07 / 02 / 2012

The organisation

What we did and why

How we did it

Results and next steps

Tips for other trusts

Contact details


The organisation

On 1 April 2011, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and Leicestershire County and Rutland Community Health Services completed their merger. The trust provides a range of health services mainly for people living in the city of Leicester and the neighbouring counties of Leicestershire and Rutland. The organisation serves a population of one million, has a budget in excess of £250 million and employs around 7300 staff.

What we did and why

In October 2009 LCCHS launched a staff facing health and well-being initiative – part of the organisation’s continuing commitment to valuing health and well-being of the workforce and following recommendations of the Boorman report. It also sough to address the issue of work related stress which was raised in the 2007 and 2008 staff surveys.

The trust worked with Zeal Solutions Ltd (a psychology consultancy specialising in reviewing health at work) and undertook a health and well-being audit of the whole workforce.

Six task and finish groups were set up as a result of the findings:

  1. Supportive management development programme – a bespoke train the trainer 'Supportive Management Behaviour' training programme for managers was launched to ensure managers have the qualities that were deemed as effective following the audit. This training was developed with staff in partnership with Zeal Solutions.
  2. Musculoskeletal (MSK) early intervention scheme – existing therapy services were used to provide services to employees with MSK problems to prevent sickness absence or to aid earlier return to work.
  3. Mental well-being group – using interventions to improve the mental well-being of staff which included the online I-Resilience tool and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) workshops undertaken by over 100 nominated staff members, providing staff with tools and skills to cope better with changes in the workplace. Staff trained as NLP practitioners are also available as a source of support for the wider workforce.
  4. Physical fitness group – an event titled 'It's a Knockout' saw approximately 80-100 staff taking part to promote physical activity and to launch the health and well-being interventions in September 2010. Champions of particular physical activities have been identified across the trust and include walking, jogging and running schemes.
  5. Incident Reporting – existing systems were reviewed to improve the incident reporting procedure, including feedback given to staff.
  6. Education and prevention – sessions on smoking cessation, diabetes, breast cancer, back care are in planning using in-house expertise.

Together with the overall health and well-being initiative, a new sickness absence policy and a stress risk assessment policy was launched in April 2010 to tackle high levels of sickness absence across the organisation.

How we did it

The project was led by Head of HR, Kshama Srivastava. The project team included membership from across the trust and included staff side, HR, clinical and non-clinical managers and staff representatives. Guidance and support was offered from partners Zeal Solutions.

Supported by Zeal Solutions Ltd, LCCHS carried out an organisational health assessment, which included participation from all levels and disciplines of staff groups. A series of focus groups were arranged to understand aspects of work and the work environments that have both negative and positive impacts on staff health and well-being.

Information from the focus groups was used to design a staff questionnaire launched in January 2010 which saw a response rate of more than 50 per cent. The results were collated and fed-back to staff via further focus groups. This provided an assessment of the current health and well-being of the workforce with verified, meaningful and bespoke data. The assessment report was finalised in April 2010.

Based on the outcome of the assessment, 16 core workplace features were identified as having either a negative or positive impact on staff health and well-being.

The period from April 2010 to September 2010 was the period used by the project team to identify and plan interventions.

The project team identified six key areas where interventions were to be prioritised.  As a result six task and finish groups were developed to explore interventions that would reduce the negative and enhance the positive effects of these workplace features, with the ultimate aim of improving the health and well-being of staff and delivering a positive impact on patient care.  These six areas are outlined in the previous section.

From October 2010, interventions were launched as and when they were ready. The implementation phase was completed in March 2011. 

A number of key communication methods were used such as:

  • staff briefings
  • newsletter – information presented clearly
  • dedicated health and well-being page on the trust intranet
  • regular email updates
  • communication via team meetings and briefings
  • visibility at annual general meeting and other events

In April 2011, LCCHS merged with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and plans are now being developed to roll out the initiative across the wider merged organisation.

Results and next steps

Since implementation, sickness absence levels for LCCHS have dropped from 4.8 per cent to approximately 3.8 per cent overall.

21 Managers were trained to be trainers for the supportive management behaviour programme – this programme is being rolled out for all managers from November 2011.

Recent staff survey results from 2010 have shown an improvement in the health and well-being categories across all directorates, which include:

  • general health of staff
  • less pressure to attend when unwell
  • less difficulty in completing duties due to ill health
  • line manager support of health and well-being
  • work is generally good for health

These improvements have been achieved at a time when the trust has been delivering efficiency and cost improvements and undertaking wide-ranging organisational change as part of the Transforming Community Services programme.

This initiative has received a runner-up award at the national Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) Excellence in Human Resources Management Awards in June 2011.

The judges were particularly impressed with the approach the health and well-being initiative took by asking staff what was good and what was not so good and then tailoring the interventions around their feedback.

Tips for other trusts

Planning stage is key
  • It is important to work on information specific to the trust rather than taking a blanket approach. This helped to prioritise resources and maximise returns
  • Allocate resource
  • Buying commitment from the board and senior management team
  • Regular communication showing results
  • Contact details

    Kshama Srivastava
    Head of HR
    (0116) 295 1193 or 07826 903 707

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