Allied Health Professionals can help build a healthier NHS

A new review from the British Dietetic Association (BDA) on building a healthy workforce is being backed by NHS England’s Chief Allied Health Professions (AHP) Officer.

And Suzanne Rastrick today called on the AHP workforce to engage in the delivery of a £5million initiative to improve the health of NHS staff.

The BDA’s white paper entitled ‘Work Ready Programme: Supporting healthier working lives through dietitian-led wellness initiatives’ identifies how good nutrition and hydration, alongside other healthy habits and good employment practices, keep the UK workforce healthy and productive.

Suzanne Rastrick says the paper highlights the recent announcement from NHS England’s Chief Executive Simon Stevens of a £5 million fund to support wellbeing initiatives for his staff.

She explained: “Simon Stevens has said the NHS has got to lead by example in helping staff and hopefully other employers will follow suit.

“There are a number of challenges to introducing wellbeing initiatives to an organisation as complicated and vast as the NHS but, as one of the largest employers in the world, we recognise the benefits.

“I want to encourage the NHS to use its dietetic workforce to assist in the delivery of Simon Stevens’ initiative for our organisation and also to recommend that other organisations looking for advice use a dietitian.

“I believe the Allied Health Professions have among them people with the training and experience to deliver a healthier NHS workforce.”

Founded in 1936, the BDA is the professional association for dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,000 members.

BDA Chairman, Dr Fiona McCullough, said: “UK workers spend a significant amount of time in the workplace, and some organisations are offering information and benefits to their employees to support them in adopting healthier habits.

“Choosing the right source of help and advice can sometimes be a confusing task. Dietitians are the ‘Gold Standard’ when it comes to nutrition and food professionals.”

Now read more on this in a blog from Suzanne Rastrick. You can also follow her on Twitter @SuzanneRastrick