The health and wellbeing offer to NHS staff

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28 / 10 / 2015 2.37pm

‘NHS staff have some of the most critical but demanding jobs in the country. Creating healthy and supportive workplaces is no longer a nice to have, it’s a must do for employers’, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England. 

The Forward View made a commitment to ensure the NHS as an employer sets a national example in the support it offers its own staff to stay healthy. On 2 September, Simon Stevens announced further plans to support this commitment, which include a major drive to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff.

The link between good staff wellbeing and clinical outcomes has been clearly articulated by Dr Steve Boorman, Dame Carol Black, Michael West and others. Poor staff health is correlated with increased clinical incidents and worse patient experiences and outcomes. 

The case for action is clear. 

Working with Dame Carol Black; NHS England, NHS Employers, Public Health England and the Social Partnership Forum along with 11 leading NHS organisations are developing and refining a ‘core offer’ of what NHS organisations should do to promote staff health and wellbeing.

The offer

The offer consists of:

  • actions by organisations to create an environment in which it is easier for staff to make healthy choices
  • national support from NHS England, Public Health England and others
  • specific measures that individuals can take advantage of to improve their own health.
Improvements in the health and wellbeing of individuals cannot occur in a vacuum, it’s important that the environment is right to support staff to make healthy choices and enable employers to intervene appropriately, in a timely manner when issues arise. It’s also important to provide individual support when necessary. To enable this, the offer includes:

The leading organisations have also been asked to commit to undertake a Workplace Wellbeing Charter assessment and participate in an accreditation process to ensure they are fully implementing the NICE guidelines on workplace health.

The offer will be tested and refined within the 11 leading organisations to develop a strong, leading, standard core offer, which can be adjusted for local context and setting and widely replicated across the NHS. All 11 leading organisations have signed up to deliver the offer for their own staff. The 11 organisations are:

  • Rotherham CCG
  • West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
  • York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust
NHS England has committed to deliver the offer to its own staff and provide national support to the leadership group (the 11 leading organisations), to enable rapid progress to be made. They have set up a healthy workforce team to lead on and help deliver this work.

NHS England and NHS Employers will support the robust evaluation of this offer, so we can share evidence of what works across the service. 

NHS Employers’ role

NHS Employers will provide leadership around key areas including:
  • Line manager training 
  • Board leadership 
  • The leadership group as a collective
  • Sharing progress and good practice across the system. 

In June 2015 NHS Employers held an event that showcased the great work already taking place in a number of NHS organisations and where some of the themes evolved to shape the core offer. A number of these organisations have continued to be involved in this work and now form part of the leadership group. See their case studies here.

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