NHS wellbeing guardians

Guidance to support NHS organisations to appoint wellbeing guardians.

18 February 2021

NHS trusts are expected to appoint a wellbeing guardian to their executive board to drive organisational expectations, monitor performance, and provide reassurance that the organisation is a healthy workplace.

We have collated guidance to support HR directors, line managers, and health and wellbeing leads, understand the role and its benefits, including:

  • the remit of the wellbeing guardian
  • who is suited to the role
  • how to integrate NHS England and NHS Improvement's nine board principles
  • how a wellbeing guardian can combine these principles into their roles and responsibilities
  • top tips on how wellbeing leads and representatives can work effectively with a wellbeing guardian.


The role of the wellbeing guardian was first introduced in a 2019 Mental wellbeing commission report from Health Education England, and set as an action for employers to take in the 20-21 NHS People Plan.

The post has been created to ensure that an organisation's activities are viewed from a health and wellbeing perspective, to challenge any board decision that impact on the health and wellbeing of staff, and encourage a model of wellbeing leadership.