NHS Health and Wellbeing Framework

health and wellbeing framework

Looking after the health and wellbeing of your staff is paramount. Investing in staff health and wellbeing not only delivers benefits for your organisation, but ultimately for the patients in your care.

NHS England has worked with 12 NHS organisations to create a Health and Wellbeing Framework and accompanying diagnostic tool to help NHS organisations plan and implement their own approach for improving staff health and wellbeing. This framework has been developed by NHS Employers, NHS England and NHS Improvement with support from partners across the NHS, voluntary sector and government to bring best practice, research and insights together in one accessible place for the first time for NHS organisations.


The Health and Wellbeing Framework is an interactive document that makes the case for staff health and wellbeing, sets out clear actionable steps for each of the 14 areas and includes guidance on how organisations can plan and deliver a staff health and wellbeing strategy.

The framework and diagnostic tool have been designed to be used in a flexible way to meet the needs of your organisation. You can use these resources in total or in part to start, revise or re-launch a programme. The framework is divided into two sections: organisational enablers and health interventions.

Organisational enablers
The enablers, many of which are core to organisational development, are also the essential building blocks of good staff health and wellbeing (NICE Guidance, 2015). They are the leadership, structural and cultural essentials that need to be in place.

Health interventions
The three health areas (mental health, musculoskeletal and healthy lifestyles) have emerged through working with NHS organisations and reviewing national data on absence, presenteeism and the staff survey. Interventions fall under two categories:

  • Prevention and self-management – these are approaches to keep people well at work through good working conditions, timely training and information and the skills needed for self-management.
  • Targeted support – these are targeted, clinically appropriate interventions for staff in need of specific healthcare and support, such as counselling and physiotherapy.

We suggest a balance of both approaches based on organisational need.

Diagnostic tool

The diagnostic tool has been created to help you assess your organisation against the Health and Wellbeing Framework. Through a series of questions the tool allows you to quickly identify the areas to focus on in order to improve health and wellbeing in your organisation.

The tool is designed to be completed in sections or as a whole and we recommend completing the diagnostic process with your health and wellbeing steering group (or equivalent) and board lead for staff health and wellbeing.

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