Health and Wellbeing Champions

The NHS People Plan outlines the ambition to enable NHS organisations to create cultures of wellbeing across their organisations,  through encouraging wellbeing conversations and the introduction of networks of Health and Wellbeing Champions.

What are Health and Wellbeing Champions?

Health and Wellbeing Champions are individuals who work at all levels of the NHS, from all demographics and roles, who will promote, identify and signpost their colleagues to local and national health and wellbeing support offers.  This is intended to be taken on as a responsibility in addition to their day to day role.

Many organisations may already have similar roles in place, using alternative names such as health and wellbeing allies, advocates or officers.

Who can be a Health and Wellbeing Champion?

A Health and Wellbeing Champion role is not intended to be a full time, new or paid role within an organisation.  It is intended to be filled by colleagues within an organisation or team, who have a particular interest in health and wellbeing and who are keen to support the wellbeing of their colleagues.  This could include colleagues who work in similar roles already, such as occupational health teams, HR, health and wellbeing teams or local staff networks.

We would encourage the Champions are appointed from a range of roles across the organisation, covering a variety of grades, and who have capacity and support from their line manager to be a Champion.

What support is available to me as a Champion?

Alongside any local support your organisation has put in place, NHS England is offering a monthly development programme for Champions, with themed online learning sessions and the opportunity to join a safe space where you can share learning with other Champions.   A list of the upcoming development sessions is as below.  Simply click on the date to sign up.

Date Theme
12pm-1pm, 29 September 2022 Menopause Champions: How we can support staff going through the menopause during winter pressures
12pm-1pm, 13 October 2022 The value of a wellbeing conversation- recognising the signs of burnout
12pm-1pm, 1 November 2022 NHS x Headspace: Supporting those going through the menopause
12pm-1pm, 17 November 2022 Supporting the health and wellbeing of your male colleagues
12pm-1pm, 15 December 2022 Being inclusive over the festive period
12pm-1pm, 19 January 2023 Supporting your colleagues with their emotional wellbeing
12pm-1pm, 26 January 2023 Menopause Champions: Understanding perimenopause and andropause
12pm-1pm, 16 February 2023 Your personal development – what’s next for you as a Champion?
12pm-1pm, 16 March 2023 Celebrating success, two years of HWB Champions

All Champions can also become a member of our closed online community of practice, to network with other Champions, and share ideas and ask questions.  You can request access the online community of practice through the NHS Futures site (future.nhs.uk).

Understanding Health Improvement – Royal Society for Public Health

As part of the national Health and Wellbeing Champions development programme, we have funded 750 places across England for Champions to complete the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement. The aim of this qualification is to provide Champions with an understanding of the principles of promoting health and wellbeing and to enable them to direct individuals towards further practical support in their efforts to attain a healthier lifestyle. Further details on the qualification and its content can be found via RSPH | RSPH Level 2 Award in Understanding Health Improvement.

We will be running an application process for the programme to ensure equal representation across the country and we will be offering the option of both virtual and face-to-face learning:

  • Virtual – colleagues will have the option of virtual delivery via MS Teams over two half-day sessions, or three 3-hour sessions, including assessment through an eAssessment platform.
  • Face-to-face – colleagues will be required to attend a 1-day training course followed by an in-person exam, located in a suitable venue for your region (venues TBC, travel will need to be funded locally).

Cohorts will be running from September 2022 until March 2023. As this course requires a time commitment outside of your role, we ask that Champions seek line manager approval to attend the course prior to submitting your application for this training. Health and Wellbeing Champions are able to apply for the RSPH Level 2 in Understanding Health Improvement via Application Form – RSPH Level 2 in Understanding Health Improvement for HWB Champions (onlinesurveys.ac.uk).

Understanding your role – an e-learning module

NHS England has worked with a number of NHS colleagues to develop an optional e-learning module for Health and Wellbeing Champions to complete, to support them in understanding the remit of their role.  This training can be access on the Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare website.