Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England Medical Director, has honoured 21 NHS trusts for their work in helping staff get and keep healthy by employing a host of innovative techniques such as using walking meetings, a range of new technologies and extra support for shift workers.
Handing out gold, silver and bronze awards to the winners of the 2016 Sports and Physical Activity Challenge Awards Sir Bruce said there had never been a more important time for hospitals and all NHS organisations to focus on the health and well-being of their staff:
“The effects of low levels of physical activity can be seen day in, day out in every hospital and GP practice across the NHS,” he said.
“As collectively the largest employer in the country, the NHS family has not just an opportunity, but a responsibility to take steps to improve the health and wellbeing of our million-plus strong workforce.
“Supporting and encouraging staff participation in sport and physical activity is already seen as a priority for many NHS employers, and through our Health and Wellbeing programme NHS England is keen to see this good practice spread even further.
“I am therefore delighted to offer NHS England’s support for the Sport and Physical Activity @ Work Awards, and hope that, as part of their commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of staff, NHS employers will get involved.”
The awards were looking for inspiring programmes large or small, those that targeted staff who work shifts or from one of the equality groups, those that used technology or provided opportunities for people to be less sedentary at work by hosting walking meetings for example.
Eight applicants met the gold criteria with 20 per cent of staff engaged in sport or physical activities, seven received silver with 10-15 per cent and six got bronze with five per cent.
NHS England recently announced proposed new action to cut obesity and reduce the sales and consumption of sugary drinks sold in hospitals.
A formal consultation was launched proposing a new fee to be paid by vendors, or alternatively seeks views on an outright ban.
As Europe’s largest employer, with over 1.3 million staff, the NHS committed in its overall strategy, the Five Year Forward View, to improve the health of its workforce.
A recent survey found obesity to be the most significant self-reported health problem amongst NHS staff, with nearly 700,000 NHS staff estimated to be overweight or obese.
Rising rates of obesity amongst NHS staff are not only bad for their personal health, but also affect sickness absence and the NHS’s ability to give patients credible and effective advice about their health.
NHS premises also receive heavy footfall from the communities of which they are a part, with over 1 million patients every 24 hours, 22 million A&E attendances and 85 million outpatient appointments each year. The food sold in these locations can send a powerful message to the public about healthy food and drink consumption.
The winners of the 2016 Sports and Physical Activity Challenge Awards are:
- 5 Borough’s Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: Silver
- Barking Havering &Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust: Gold
- Barts Health NHS Trust: Bronze
- Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Gold
- Central London Community Health NHS Trust: Bronze
- Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Bronze
- Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust: Gold
- NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group: Silver
- Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust: Bronze
- Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust: Gold
- Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust: Silver
- Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust: Silver
- Rotherham, Doncaster & South Humber NHS Foundation Trust: Silver
- Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust: Gold
- Sheffield City Council – Activity Shefield: Silver
- South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust: Gold
- The 52 Club University College London Hospitals: Bronze
- The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust: Gold
- University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust: Bronze
- University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust: Gold
- University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust: Silver