Evidence base

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22 / 4 / 2016 Midnight

The below documents and reports have been influential in shaping thinking and approaches in health and wellbeing across the NHS. These will help you to develop and review your health and wellbeing approach.

Physical activity benefits, 2015 - A year on from Public Health England publication of their national physical activity framework, Everybody Active Every Day, the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies launched an infographic for health professionals outlining the benefits of physical activity. Your copy of the infographic can be downloaded here.

Better Health for London, London Health Commission, February 2015 - This report is about better health for London. It rests on the belief that the city – its people, its institutions, and its political, economic and cultural leaders – have an obligation to help and support one another to achieve better health. Read more from the London Health Commission.

Satisfied employees and higher productivity go together. National Institute of Economic and Social Research for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, January 2015 - This report is the first in the UK to examine how employee job satisfaction is postiviely associated with workplace financial performance, labour productivity, the quality of output and service. The press release for this report can be found on the National Institute of Economic and Social Research for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website.

Rethinking the public health workforce, 2015 - This report is about looking beyond the wider Public health worforce to support and encourage people to lead healthier lives as well as supporting their behaviour change. To read the report from Royal Society of Public Health.

How to engage staff in the NHS and why it matters, The Point of Care Foundation, 2014 – This report is about how the happiness of healthcare professionals impacts patient care. The report aims to remind people that staff engagement matters and that there is plenty of room to improve it in the NHS. Read more on this from The Point of Care Foundation.

Rethinking the Public Health Workforce - This report is about articulating a way forward in how individuals and professions across a range of areas could support this radical upgrade through a widening of their work roles or volunteer activity to help improve and protect the public’s health in tackling the major public health issues and making prevention a priority. Read more on this from the Royal Society of Public Health.

The NHS Five Year Forward View, NHS England, October 2014 - The Five Year Forward View starts the move towards a different NHS, recognising the challenges and outlining potential solutions to the big questions facing health and care services in England. It defines the framework for further detailed planning about how the NHS needs to evolve over the next five years. Staff health and wellbeing is a key topic. Visit the NHS England webpages.

Worker wellbeing and workplace performance, Public Health England (PHE), October 2014 - This report provides a review of the information on employee wellbeing and its impact on workplace performance. It looks at how wellbeing in the workplace is measured and defined; what employee and job characteristics influence wellbeing in the workplace; what employer practices have the greatest positive impact on workplace wellbeing and the evidence linking employee wellbeing and business performance. For the full report on worker wellbeing and workplace performance, visit the Public Health England website.

Commuting by walking or cycling 'can boost mental wellbeing' NICE, September 2014 - This NICE article details the benefits of exercising whilst commuting to work of mental wellbeing. It suggests that active travel can boost your mental wellbeing as well as helping you to keep physically healthy. To read this article on commuting to work, please see the NICE website. 

Growing Nursing Numbers Literature Review, NHS Health Education England, July 2014 - This review looks at how to improve nurse retention and the causes of the ‘leaky bucket,’ that is nurses leaving, have already left or are registered by not practising. One of the key findings of this literature review is that stress and burnout is a major factor in nurses’ intention to leave. In 2012, 42 per cent of UK nurses reported burnout and it is particularly high in young newly qualified nurses. This review shows that a supportive work environment that prevents intention to leave as well as actual leaving is a very successful strategy in the retention of nurses. You can improve job satisfaction for your nurses by providing the right culture conducive for a healthy work environment. See the full literature review on NHS Health Education England website. 

Business in the Community Report on Mental Health, March 2014 - The Business in the Community Report details the costs of mental health to businesses and setting out a case for employee mental wellbeing measures, as both good for employees themselves and beneficial for the company as a whole. It provides data about the cost of both absentee and presenteeism and suggests practical ideas to help improve the mental wellbeing of your employees. To view the Business in the Community Report on Mental Health.

Sickness absence in labour market, Office for National Statistics, March 2014 - This is a report by the Office for National Statistics detailing sickness absence figures in the labour market from 1993 - 2013. The full report can be read on the Office for National Statistics webpages.

Evidence white paper for employee engagement and wellbeing, Engage for Success, March 2014 - This whitepaper report, published by Engage for Success, details the importance of health and wellbeing, taking research from academic research, consultancies and case studies. It is a comprehensive report of the evidence for employee engagement and wellbeing and why it should matter to workers. Find out more from the Business in the Community website.

Wellbeing and health policy, Department of Health, February 2014 - The 'Wellbeing and Health Policy,' published by the Department of Health (DH), contains a series of documents covering areas, such as, why wellbeing matters, how it varies across the life course, why social relationships are key to wellbeing and why the wellbeing of health service staff affects service delivery. Some important findings, that are wellbeing related, include:

  • good wellbeing adds years to life and improves recovery from illness
  • health and wellbeing is associated with positive health behaviours in adults and children
  • health and wellbeing is associated with broader positive results
  • our wellbeing influences the wellbeing and mental health of those close to us
  • health and wellbeing affects how staff and health care providers work with implications for patients
  • health and wellbeing affects decisions about local services
  • good health and wellbeing may ultimately reduce the healthcare burden

View the wellbeing and healthy policy on the Department of Health website. 

Measuring National Wellbeing, Office for National Statistics, 2014 -This document was published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The report collates information collected by UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) and explains the current state of national wellbeing in the U.K. The measuring national wellbeing report can be read in full on the Office for National Statistics website. 

Does NHS staff wellbeing affect patient experience of care? National Nursing Research Unit, May 2013 - This report was published by the National Nursing Research Unit (NNRU) and explains how good staff wellbeing directly impacts patient experience. It outlines the key points of staff wellbeing and the direct impact this has on patients. To read the full report 'Does NHS staff wellbeing affect patient experience of care?' please see the National Nursing Research Unit website. 

Fit enough for patients? An audit of workplace health and wellbeing services for NHS staff, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, March 2013 - This is an audit of workplace health and wellbeing across the NHS, conducted by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). Headline findings show that:

  • 37 per cent of trusts do not have a health and wellbeing strategy. Those without saw a rise in sickness absence of 14 per cent over three years.
  • Over the past three years more than 19.3 million sick days have been taken for musculo-skeletal related issues.

The 'Fit enough for patients?' report can be viewed in full on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy website.

Fitness for work: the Government response to ‘Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence’, January 2013 - This is the Government response, to David Frost’s and Dame Carol Black’s review of the sickness absence system in Great Britain on 17 January 2013, outlines a strategy to support the health and wellbeing at work. It examines areas such as sickness absence management, support for healthcare professionals and reforms to the benefits system. Read the full Fitness for work response

Five-year workplace wellness intervention in the NHS. Mark E Batt, Holly Blake and Dingyuan Zhou, 2013 - This study looks at poor health and well-being among NHS staff. It aims to deliver and evaluate a five-year employee wellness programme aimed at improving the health and well-being of employees in NHS. Read the full evaluation on the Perspectives in Public Health website.

Patients' experiences of care and the influence of staff motivation, affect and wellbeing, Health Services and Delivery Research Programme, November 2012 - This is a study by the Health Services and Delivery Research Programme which shows that patient care and staff wellbeing are intrinsically linked. The wellbeing of staff is important on two levels, not only for the employee’s own wellbeing but also because of the impact on patient care. Another key finding is that the local environment is critical for staff wellbeing and that the team leader or manager has the opportunity to create a healthy working culture. This report is very detailed but well worth a read for anyone interested in health and wellbeing in the NHS. Read the full report on 'patients' experiences of care' conducted by the Health Services and Delivery Research Programme

Implementing NICE public health guidance for the workplace: Overcoming barriers and sharing success, Health and Work Development Unit, 2012 - This report by Health and Work Development Unit (HWDU) is on implementing the NICE public health guidance. This report is really useful in identifying common barriers and enablers to guide trusts in implementing health and wellbeing strategies. As the Board Lead for the Acute Foundation Trust says, “We’re in the healthcare business. If we can’t take care of staff health there isn’t much hope for anybody.” The full report on 'implementing NICE public health guidance for the workplace' can be found here. 

The Public Health Responsibility Deal, 2012 -The Responsibility Deal is a Government initiative seeking to draw on the potential of employers in both the private and public sectors to help tackle health inequalities through the influence they have over health in the workplace, alcohol consumption, food and physical activity. Read The Public Health Responsibility Deal. 

The NHS Constitution, October 2011 -The NHS Constitution includes a commitment to 'Provide support and opportunities for staff to maintain their health, wellbeing and safety'. This commitment remains as strong now as it did when the Constitution was launched in January 2010. Read more about the NHS Constitution on the GOV.UK website

Healthy staff, better care for patients: Realignment of occupational health services to the NHS in England, July 2011 - This document outlines a set of recommendations to help achieve the vision that suppliers of occupational health services to healthcare staff should play a key role in the delivery of safe, effective and efficient patient care through promoting and protecting the health of staff. Read more about the healthy staff, better care for patients report on the Department of Department of Health's website.

No health without mental health: A cross-government mental health outcomes strategy for people of all ages, February 2011 -The report sets out shared objectives to improve people's mental health and wellbeing and services for people with mental health problems. To read 'No health without mental health' in full.

Managing absence in the NHS, Audit Commission, February 2011 -This briefing examines the local variation and cost of sickness absence to primary care trusts, NHS trusts and foundation trusts. It sets out where organisations can find more help and advice in cutting sickness absence rates. See the Audit Commission's webpages for the full report.

Health, work and wellbeing - Caring for our future, HM Government, 2011 -This strategy for the health and wellbeing of working age people is a crucial part of delivering on the Government’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of the working age population. Read 'Health, work and well-being - Caring for our future.' 

Fair society healthy lives, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, February 2010 - Professor Sir Michael Marmot was asked by the then Secretary of State for Health to chair an independent review to propose the most effective evidence-based strategies for reducing health inequalities in England from 2010. The final report concluded that reducing health inequalities would require action on policy objectives. Read the full report by Professor Sir Michael Marmot. 

NICE public health guidance, December 2009 - Public health guidance makes recommendations for populations and individuals on activities, policies and strategies that can help prevent disease or improve health. Read the guidance specifically for health and well-being.

The Boorman Review, November 2009 - The final report of the independent NHS Health & Well-being Review was published on 23 November 2009. The report reiterates the business case for change laid out in the Interim Report, and provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for improvement in provision of health and wellbeing across the NHS.

The engaging manager, 2009 - A report by the Institute for Employment Studies, based on a study of almost 200 staff members and managers on understanding management attitudes, perception and behaviours - what makes a good manager? The full report can be read in full on the Institute for Employment Studies webpages.

Dame Carol Black report, 2008 - Dame Carol Black, national director for health and work, was commissioned to undertake a wide-ranging review of the health of Britain’s working age population in order to develop a baseline understanding of the health of working age people, and the impact it has on government, the economy and society. Read 'Working for a healthier tomorrow'. 

Engaging leadership. Creating organisations that maximise the potential of their people. CIPD, 2008 - This document details how organisations of any size, and in any sector can enhance the potential of it's workforce to give their best performance in a way which increases motivation, morale and wellbeing. To read the full report please CIPD webpages.

'Is work good for your health and wellbeing?' Gordon Waddell and A Kim Burton, 2006 - This review collates and evaluates the evidence on the question ‘Is work good for your health and wellbeing?’ This forms part of the evidence base for the health, work and wellbeing strategy. Read 'Is work good for your health and well-being?'

Psychosocial work environment and mental health—a meta-analytic review, Stephen Stansfeld and Bridget Candy, 2006 - This meta-analysis examines the relationship between the psychosocial work stressors and common mental disorders. Read the Stansfeld and Candy analysis here. 

Wellbeing in the workplace and its relationship to business outcomes: A review of the Gallup studies. Harter, Schmidt and Keyes, 2002 - This study provides a theoretical framework to explain the relationship between workplace wellbeing and performance. Read the Harter, Schmidt and Keyes study here.

Psychological wellbeing and job satisfaction as predictors of job performance. Thomas Wright and Russell Cropanzano, 2000 - This study is the first to examine psychological wellbeing in addition to job satisfaction as predictors of job performance. The findings from the study conducted by Thomas Wright and Russell Cropanzano can be viewed in detail here. Findings from the study conducted by Thomas Wright and Russell Cropanzano can be viewed in detail here.

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