Building relationships to support workforce wellbeing

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust and South Warwickshire Foundation NHS Trust are using the Health and Wellbeing Framework to raise the profile of workforce wellbeing

What we’ve done

Who we are

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust and South Warwickshire Foundation NHS Trust are two separate organisations in the Midlands providing acute hospital services. Together we have over 5,000 staff. We have a shared health and wellbeing lead.

What we did

We used the Health and Wellbeing Framework to provide a structure for all of our workforce wellbeing work.

Initially we thought that a single lead may be able to complete the Framework’s diagnostic tool, but we quickly found that was not the case as it covers a wide range of topics. Key contacts helped to complete the diagnostic tool. The wellbeing lead first reviewed each of the components of the tool and then arranged meetings with stakeholders to talk through key lines of enquiry in the tool. Stakeholders also signposted to others to speak with.

We created a steering group and identified different workstreams to focus on based on our needs assessment. The workstreams are now developing new projects, such as menopause support and sleep initiatives.

What we’ve achieved so far

As a result of using the Framework, we have:

  • developed relationships and a shared vision between the wellbeing lead and Occupational Health, HR, People Development, Organisational Development and other teams
  • developed a health and wellbeing steering group
  • drawn together a list of all our wellbeing offers so we can promote them more effectively
  • set up new projects to address identified needs
  • started developing organisation-wide health and wellbeing strategies
  • focused more on collecting data insights for projects and demonstrating impact
  • combined Wellbeing Champions with Speak Up Champions and relaunched the role
  • presented to other organisations across our Integrated Care System (ICS) about how to implement the Framework

We have changed how we collect insights about what staff want and need. The Health and Wellbeing, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Reducing Bullying and Harassment Teams have launched a combined project called ‘What People Want’. Rather than relying solely on surveys, we are spending 10 months actively seeking out staff feedback using focus groups. Leads are directly approaching staff at their place of work and also attending the leadership forum, staff huddles and other events to hear what staff need. We are presenting our objectives and asking staff how they would achieve them.

“There was a lot of duplication of work across departments. Having the Framework has helped to provide a one stop shop to connect everything related to health and wellbeing. This has helped wellbeing become a focal point. We are now embedded wellbeing into service development plans and directorate / division action plans.” – Trust representative

What we’ve learnt so far

  • It was worth having conversations with key stakeholders when completing the diagnostic tool. Stakeholders did not need to do any work in advance or fill in documents. A lead met with them virtually to ask questions and used this information to fill in the tool. These conversations helped to build relationships and emphasise our focus on workforce wellbeing.
  • Our advice to others would be to allow yourself time and patience to do the work. It takes time to meet with stakeholders and build connections. Mapping your stakeholders helps to identify who to speak with. This can create buy-in and develop relationships as well as generating well-rounded information.
  • Many organisations are interested in using the Framework and it helps to share approaches. We presented to our ICS and emphasised that the Framework provides guidance and ideas, not ‘rules’ to follow. We now have a virtual meeting every few weeks with wellbeing leads across the ICS. At each meeting we focus on one element of the Framework, to talk through what each organisation is doing.