We are safe and healthy

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.

Tools and further reading


Documents and websites

Events and training

A conversation on kindness with Unmind CEO, Dr Nick Taylor

25 February, 2pm to 3pm

Join us for a conversation with Unmind CEO, Dr Nick Taylor and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Kate Daley as we discuss the importance of being kind to ourselves and how to develop self-compassion, whilst we care for others. Unmind is a digital platform taking a proactive, preventative approach to mental health and wellbeing, using clinically-backed tools and training. We take care of our teeth by brushing twice daily and exercise to keep our bodies in good form – Unmind will help you do this for your mind. Register for the session.

Start Well End Well

9 March, 4pm to 5.30pm

Start Well End Well is a practical approach to support teams to do what matters, together, by fostering a psychologically safe culture. The programme was developed by North Bristol NHS Trust’s senior clinicians, lead psychologist for staff wellbeing and quality improvement team during the early stages of COVID-19, and it has been designed to provide organisations with a practical approach to support colleagues and to promote effective team working, particularly during challenging periods. Register for the session.

How yoga can help you to thrive – a live session with Movement for Modern Life

11 March, 10am to 11am

Kat Farrants, Founder of Movement for Modern Life (the UK’s #1 Yoga Platform), will be talking about how yoga has helped her to get through the toughest periods in her life, and how yoga can help you to thrive. Yoga has been scientifically proven to help tackle stress, sleeping disorders, low feeling and physical pains ranging from sore back and shoulders to tired feet from standing all day. Kat will share her personal story and talk about how yoga can help you to get through these tough times. Register for the session.

Live sleep session and Q&A with Prof. Colin Espie and Dr Dimitri Gavriloff from Sleepio for National Sleep Day.

18 March, 5pm to 6pm

In times of great uncertainty difficulty sleeping is often the first symptom of poor mental health. Many of you may have struggled with poor sleep for years and if you haven’t found the right solution or, if you want to learn more about improving your sleep, join us at our live Q&A session with Colin and Dimitri, both specialists at Oxford University. This is an opportunity to ask questions about your sleep and to learn how to improve it using evidence-based techniques. Register for the session.

What initiatives can I take forward now?

Supporting health: 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.

Gloucestershire Hospitals comms story

  • Action: Think about how you could put similar support systems in place for your people, and what you would need in order to do it.

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.

Offers available: 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 community events: these are led by NHS Horizons and take place fortnightly. These interactive virtual sessions are open to anyone who is supporting NHS staff wellbeing during and following COVID-19. 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: for example, coffee roulette – staff are matched with other staff members they have not worked with previously, and can share experiences and learning

  • Action: Think about how your staff already share learning, and how you could use other methods to encourage more activity.

Encouraging wellbeing : 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.

Help us to help you

Do you have a success story or resource to share? Please contact us and let us know so that we can make it available for everyone.