Framework helps embed wellbeing in usual practice

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust used the Health and Wellbeing Framework to support a proactive approach to planning and evaluating workforce wellbeing initiatives

What we’ve done

Who we are

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust runs a 520-bed district general hospital based 12 miles from central London. The hospital supports around 320,000 people in South West London and Surrey. We have about 3,000 staff and people employed by contractors working on our behalf. We have a dedicated in-house Occupational Health and Wellbeing Team comprising one lead and a small number of clinical psychologists and physiotherapists.

What we did

Workforce wellbeing is important to our Trust. We offered a lot of useful initiatives, however were largely reactive rather than having time to think about what staff need. We used the Health and Wellbeing Framework to help embed a proactive approach to wellbeing as part of business as usual.

Our wellbeing lead first reviewed the Framework’s diagnostic tool, adding information and identifying gaps in knowledge. The lead then had conversations with people on the leadership board and in specific departments. We shared parts of the diagnostic tool with these teams to gather more insights. We asked teams short focused questions such as ‘How do you know wellbeing is good from an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion perspective?’ and then attended existing team meetings to discuss further. We developed a short checklist version of the diagnostic tool so we could add regular updates.

We created an Integration Group that meets monthly, including representatives from health and wellbeing, occupational health, chaplains and others. We presented the diagnostic tool findings to leaders and other stakeholders.

It did not take a lot of time to use the Framework. One lead spent about half a day reading all the materials, then another day completing the diagnostic tool, spread over a few weeks. The lead now spends about an hour every fortnight reviewing the tool to monitor progress, look at any gaps and follow up with other teams.

What we’ve achieved so far

As a result of using the Health and Wellbeing Framework:

  • We are thinking about wellbeing more holistically. We have created a Wellbeing Toolkit to signpost people to resources. We have streamlined everything through a digital front door using QR codes so people can get help quickly.
  • We developed a strategy and 12-month action plan. We thought about what good looks like and how to get there.
  • We have become more data driven. Each department now has a quantitative report with wellbeing indicators that drive improvement and help us have open conversations. For example, we are comparing sickness rates for different departments and exploring what those with low rates are doing well.
  • We have expanded engagement. Health and wellbeing is a regular item on the Executive Team meeting agenda. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion leads are part of the Health and Wellbeing operations group.

Kingston Hospital has been ranked in the top ten trusts in the country following the most recent NHS Staff Survey.

“Using the Framework gave us the breathing space we needed to consider what we want to do moving forward. It is helping us plan and evaluate impacts. It has led to a more integrated approach to health and wellbeing across the Trust, so wellbeing is part of business as usual.” – Trust representative

“The diagnostic tool is not just a tick box form to fill out. It will make your life easier. It is relatively quick to do – and it is now influencing all our wellbeing work. It shows how health and wellbeing links to other things.” – Trust representative

What we’ve learnt so far

  • We asked staff what initiatives would help, rather than simply planning things centrally. For example, we knew it was important to provide menopause support. Rather than developing an intervention, we first set up a peer support group on MS Teams. Here staff said what they wanted, which is driving our initiatives. Another example is our ‘Supporting Our Staff’ (SOS) talks, which are like TED talks. Our Integration Group identified priorities for talks and we are using a collaborative approach to run them, with clinical psychologists and matrons assisting.
  • The diagnostic tool is a live document that we keep returning to. We are using it to track our progress. We refer to it in conversations with leaders to decide what to focus on next. It reminds us of things to consider when planning initiatives, such as diversity or the environment.
  • It helps to share ideas with other organisations. We took part in monthly meetings with others using the Framework. It could work well to have a ‘buddy’ organisation to meet with for 30 minutes per month to review what you are each doing and get fresh ideas.