Archived evidence base for health and wellbeing

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The below documents, whilst older in date, are still useful and may help you to develop and review your health and wellbeing approach.


The NHS Constitution, October 2015 
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

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 postively 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.


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.

The NHS Five Year Forward View, NHS England, October 2014 
The Five Year Forward View started 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 defined the framework for further detailed planning about how the NHS needed to evolve over the next five years. Staff health and wellbeing is a key topic. Visit the NHS England web pages.

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 mental wellbeing benefits of exercising whilst commuting to work. 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.

NHS Employers, Reducing sickness absence using evidence based strategies, May 2014
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) commissioned NHS Employers to undertake a project to reduce sickness absence levels and improve staff health and wellbeing in 102 NHS trusts. The project worked with a cross-section of NHS organisations, including acute, mental health, specialist and ambulance services. Take a look at the report which summarises the project, it includes the evidence gathered, key findings, good practice, top tips and case studies. 

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. Read the Business in the Community report on mental health.

Wellbeing and health policy, Department of Health, February 2014 
The wellbeing and health policy, published by the Department of Health, 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 include:

  • good wellbeing adds years to life and improves recovery from illness
  • 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
  • good health and wellbeing may ultimately reduce the healthcare burden. 

View the wellbeing and healthy policy on the Department of Health 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). The report can be viewed in full on the CSP website.  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.

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 see the NNRU 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. 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 wellbeing among NHS staff. It aims to deliver and evaluate a five-year employee wellness programme intended to improve 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 Health Services and Delivery Research Programme



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 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.

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. Find out more.


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.


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 web pages.


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'.


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 the report.


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.


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