Focusing on wellbeing supports culture change

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust used the Health and Wellbeing Framework to continue strengthening our focus on workforce wellbeing

What we’ve done

Who we are

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust provides mental health, learning disability and specialist services in 33 community and inpatient settings for a population of 1.7 million people. We have over 3,600 staff, including psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, domestics, administrative and estates teams and many more, plus over 300 volunteers.

What we did

We already have a comprehensive health and wellbeing programme in place. We used the Health and Wellbeing Framework to help strengthen our organisational wellbeing culture, so people know it is a priority to take breaks and look after themselves.

  • We used the Framework’s ‘wellbeing wheel’ to understand the different components needed to build a positive health and wellbeing culture, as a visual tool to explain concepts to stakeholders and as a prompt to consider interventions under each element.
  • We used the diagnostic tool to capture where we were at. The tool provides simple scores, charts and dashboards that made it easy to display our current status and areas to develop. One health and wellbeing lead completed the tool, asked other teams to contribute and shared a draft with a staff Health and Wellbeing Group.
  • We used the Framework’s Implementation Plan to support a structured approach to planning and to provide ideas about where to get data from.
  • We drew on case studies about what others were doing to consider different approaches.

What we’ve achieved so far

  • Using the Framework directly influenced the Trust’s approach to health and wellbeing. We developed a new Health and Wellbeing Strategy which covers all seven components of the wellbeing wheel. We included the wheel diagram in our Strategy. We are providing a universal wellbeing offer available to all, plus targeted interventions to meet the needs of specific groups such as line managers, women and people from minority ethnic groups. Our third element is specialist support for those with more specific needs, such as counselling.
  • The Framework emphasised involving the Wellbeing Guardian, so we have worked with them to develop our Strategy and priority areas, including building a wellbeing culture, focusing on financial wellbeing and looking at broader things that influence wellbeing, like shift rota patterns.
  • We used more data insights when developing our Strategy. For instance, we drew on the NHS staff survey results, health needs assessment and discussions with staff. We also considered what we could do in future to get richer data insights and are actively asking staff what wellbeing means to them and what support they need.
  • We expanded the way we think about wellbeing. The diagnostic tool promoted us to consider wider elements than previously. For instance, we have included a section on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in our new Health and Wellbeing Strategy, for the first time.
  • We identified gaps in some of our available offers after using the diagnostic tool, so we are now revamping support services, recruiting more wellbeing champions, enhancing the physical environment and expanding some of our physical health offers.

“Staff wellbeing is at the heart of changes we are making in our organisation. Our Culture Change Programme Board has recognised the role that health and wellbeing can play in ensuring the Trust delivers on the aim to support Brilliant Care, through Brilliant People. Health and wellbeing is now a key workstream in our culture change work.” – Trust representative

What we’ve learnt so far

  • Culture change does not happen overnight. The Framework helps you think about all the elements needed to shift culture. The wellbeing wheel is at the heart of the Framework so that is a good place for organisations to start.
  • Treat the diagnostic tool as what it is – a tool. Rather than spending a lot of time completing sections in great detail, we focused on quickly reflecting on current strengths and gaps. We made brief notes. The tool is not meant to be a comprehensive, fully accurate, outward facing account for governance. It is simply a step to get to a Wellbeing Strategy and implementation plan.
  • Using the Framework is the start of a journey. We are investing time in maintaining momentum. For example, we have set up a working group to take forward changes to support services, another for shift rota changes, and another for a wellbeing bus. We have included training on wellbeing in managers’ induction sessions.