University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust has instigated a strategic Workplace Wellbeing Offer for all colleagues, which is integrated into their organisational development plan. The offer has three categories: Psychological Wellbeing, Physical Wellbeing and Healthy Lifestyles. They have promoted their offer widely, using a network of voluntary staff ‘Wellbeing Advocates’ to reach the 12,000 colleagues working across multiple sites.
The trust’s new initiatives have included brief (1 hour) in-house workshops available to all staff on ‘stress awareness and self-care’, accompanied by in-house publications that provide colleagues with practical techniques based on low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy around: Self-Awareness, Balancing Behaviours, Noticing Thoughts, Sleep, and Being in the Moment.
The trust’s use of the NHS Health and Wellbeing Framework diagnostic tool has helped them to recognise the integral role line managers play in staff wellbeing. They worked to enhance the confidence of line managers in supporting staff wellbeing with the introduction of short (1.5 hour) in-house workshops for all line managers and rolled out resources on what action to take where suicidal intent among colleagues is a concern.
There is also a guide for staff on how to manage wellbeing following a potentially traumatic event, and access to bereavement, spiritual and pastoral care through the trust chaplaincy team. Counselling is provided through the occupational health service.
Other initiatives are described below.
- The trust runs regular pregnancy and menopause workshops.
- Schwartz Rounds are also a regular feature and are well attended.
- The staff website provides support and information on a range of lifestyle topics including smoking cessation, healthy eating, alcohol support and physical activity.
- They have appointed a lead consultant for coaching, wellbeing and mentoring for doctors who leads a bespoke piece of work to make a positive difference to this staff group.
- To support the holistic approach to wellbeing, and to ensure initiatives are considered and responsive to need, the trust is finalising a Wellbeing Strategic Framework.
- Since the trust began the Health and Wellbeing Improvement Programme, it has reported 15 months of improvement with overall sickness absence rates reducing.
- In the 2018 staff survey, the trust had a higher than average number of colleagues reporting they believed the trust to be taking positive action on health and wellbeing.
- The trust also measures improvement through its own ‘Happy App’ platform, and local surveys, and monitors Datix and the Friends and Family Test.