Diagnostic tool helped to identify environment changes

Using the Health and Wellbeing Framework helped Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust identify new ways to support staff

What we’ve done

Who we are

Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust provides community health services for over 520,000 people in the London boroughs of Hounslow and Richmond as well as more specialist services to people across south west London. We employ around 1,200 people who work in health centres, hospitals, GP surgeries, children’s centres, council facilities, community settings and in people’s homes.

What we did

Supporting staff health and wellbeing is about looking after our staff, and it is also key to the wellbeing of our patients. We are always looking for ways to enhance what we do. We used the diagnostic tool from the Health and Wellbeing Framework to help us on our journey.

The lead responsible for staff wellbeing completed elements of the diagnostic tool and contacted others across the Trust to provide information, including team members from Recruitment; Occupational Development and Learning; Estates; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; and the Speak Up Guardian. The wellbeing lead sent specific questions from the diagnostic tool for team members to complete and coordinated the responses. It took about three weeks to complete the tool, in amongst other activities.

“The diagnostic tool gets you thinking. The process of completing it connects you with people who do different work in the organisation, like the Speak Up Guardian. That helps us all learn what each other are up to so we can signpost people to support.” – Trust representative

What we’ve achieved so far

The diagnostic tool and associated staff feedback helped us change some of our priorities. We identified two key areas to focus on that we had not explored in detail before: making sure that inpatient teams have a way to get food, as there is no restaurant at the Trust; and providing rest areas.

In terms of food, we explored vending machines and working with an organisation that brings in food which staff can purchase at a reasonable price. We did not have enough resources to implement change immediately, but we have identified this as a priority.

In terms of improving the environment, we created a courtyard garden for staff at two of our sites and purchased fans where staff mentioned they were needed, including to support people experiencing menopause.

“The NHS does not have enough staff to do what is needed and that puts pressure on everyone. Health and wellbeing is not a sticking plaster for fundamental challenges. We need to focus on recruitment, retention and supporting staff. The Framework can highlight how important wellbeing is to everything we do and may be a step to giving staff more equal access to tools and resources to keep themselves well.” – Trust representative

What we’ve learnt so far

  • The diagnostic tool is something that will help you look after staff. To get the most out of it, you need to be open and honest about your progress. Using the tool might show areas where you are doing well, even if you did not feel you were doing a lot. But you cannot be complacent even if you think you are on track. The tool shows there are always ways to improve. It does not give all the answers. You have to put in the work to ask people for feedback and reflect on areas for improvement.
  • Workforce wellbeing is multifaceted, so the diagnostic tool covers a wide range of topics. No one person or role will have all the information needed. We found it worked well to have one person ‘owning’ the process and coordinating completion, but asking other team members to contribute gave them an opportunity to self-assess what they are doing. This also provides a check on information because the self-assessment ratings are subjective.
  • The diagnostic tool is a living document. Where you are today is not where you will be tomorrow. We plan to keep refining the information as we engage with more staff. We have shared the findings with teams to help identify areas to develop. We will use the tool periodically to review how we are progressing.