Improving the working experience of all NHS staff, which includes improving their health and wellbeing, increasing civility and respect, and increasing their safety, is a must.
We want to create an organisational culture of compassionate leadership, improved workforce resilience and support for our staff. If done right, we’ll see a reduction in staff leaving, a reduction in staff sickness absence and fewer incidents of bullying, harassment, violence and abuse.
Safer and healthier workplace success stories
You may find these useful when thinking about how to improve practices in your workplace.
- NHS health and wellbeing framework diagnostic tool and how organisations and systems have used the tool.
- How to ensure the right people, with the right skills, are in the right place at the right time: a guide to nursing, midwifery and care staffing capacity and capability
- University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust’s workplace wellbeing offer
Tools and further reading
- NHS health and wellbeing framework
- How to be a mentor to encourage others in the system to use the framework
- Using the framework to improve occupational health and wellbeing services
- Adapting the diagnostic tool to make it applicable for a broader range of organisations
- How to use the framework across a whole system
Documents and websites
- Health and wellbeing conversations, implementing support for NHS executives
- Wellbeing guardians
- Thriving at work: the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers
- NHS Employers health, safety and wellbeing guidance for supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff
- Diagnostic tool in the Health and wellbeing framework
- Joint working agreement between the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Crown Prosecution Service and NHS
What initiatives can I take forward now?
There has been a greater focus on both the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our colleagues, with more support offered in teams and organisations. This includes psychological support such as Schwartz Rounds and workplace chill-out rooms, or safe spaces to help manage the physical demands of the day.
Systems have played a key role in providing a co-ordinated approach and you can take some inspiration from our case studies.
Help the carers
There are currently an estimated 250,000 carers working in the NHS, many of whom are aged 45 to 64 and so are likely to be among our most experienced and skilled staff.
Action: Find out who the carers are in your organisation and support them using ESR and the Carers Passport Scheme. Lead by example and ask your team in their next 1:1s whether they have caring responsibilities. Use the working carers passport log to guide these conversations.
We are continuing to support our people. There are many generous offers of help and discounts for NHS staff as well support services – for example through ‘first class lounges’. lounges’ (example at Frimley Health).
Action: Find out if your staff know about this site and encourage them to share things that have helped them.
Wellbeing Wednesday events
Led by NHS England, these interactive virtual sessions are open to all NHS staff and focus on supporting staff wellbeing. They help staff stay up to date with the national wellbeing offers and learn and share experiences together.
Action: If you have staff who work in workforce, occupational health, organisational development, wellbeing, leadership, trade union support and/or are line managers, encourage them to join an event.
Virtual shared learning staff events
Staff are matched with other staff members they have not worked with previously, and can share experiences and learning. An example of this is coffee roulette.
Action: Think about how your staff already share learning, and how you could use other methods to encourage more activity.
As team leaders or managers, we should actively encourage wellbeing to decrease work-related stress and have a culture where our people are expected to take breaks, manage their work demands together and take regular time away from the workplace.
Action: Think about how you are role-modelling this now, or how you could do more to develop or nurture this in your team or organisation’s culture.