New report encourages rigorous evaluation of health and wellbeing programmes

Evaluating health and wellbeing interventions

21 / 11 / 2014 9am

NHS Employers has today published guidance that encourages NHS organisations to improve evaluation of their internal health and wellbeing programmes.

Findings from Evaluating Health & Wellbeing Interventions for Healthcare Staff show that financial pressure on the NHS will make it increasingly difficult for NHS boards to justify their own staff health and wellbeing programmes - unless more evidence and rigor is developed to assess their value.

The report is the result of a year of research in partnership with Zeal Solutions Ltd, including substantial cooperation from the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to support and analyse improvements in its PhysioPlus staff physiotherapy service.

The report provides evidence and describes ten key principles to help enhance evaluation of these programmes:

  • ensure the purpose of the evaluation is determined
  • establish your evaluation criteria
  • plan, prepare and where possible document the evaluation design
  • look for change
  • consider the long-term impacts of an intervention
  • consider the bigger picture
  • senior management engagement
  • build a capacity and capability for evaluation
  • ensure there is focus on process as well as on the outcome
  • effective communication and understanding of evaluation findings.

 It also recommends that NHS organisations increasingly share and develop a detailed evidence base, helping to explore what works and what doesn’t.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said:

“The NHS has over many years expanded its staff wellbeing policies and programmes, supporting the well-being of our people, to help them to deliver high quality patient care. However we are concerned that financial pressure on NHS organisations will reduce the funding for such projects unless managers can better demonstrate their value. 


“Developing more systematic, evidence-based approaches will drive improvement in these projects. This research can be used to demonstrate the impact of quality health and wellbeing programmes to Boards throughout the NHS. I also have no doubt that NHS organisations can provide a great example to others about how staff can become healthier and more engaged in their roles.”

Download Evaluating Health & Wellbeing Interventions for Healthcare Staff: Key Findings


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