Framework sparks wellbeing conversations

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust used the Health and Wellbeing Framework as an opportunity to engage with staff about what wellbeing means to them

What we’ve done

Who we are

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is the main provider of NHS community health services across Sussex. We have an annual budget of £185m and care for over 9,000 people a day. We employ over 8,400 full time, part time and bank staff.

What we did

We used the Health and Wellbeing Framework to have discussions and build engagement when undertaking an Occupational Health review:

We used the Framework’s ‘wheel’ diagram in meetings with managers and staff as a way of beginning conversations about how people feel and signposting to things we offer.

We used the Framework’s diagnostic tool to bring together all our available data. Occupational Development and Occupational Health Leads started completing the tool and emailed sections to others to ask for feedback. We asked the facilities, HR, mental health, staff experience, occupational health, inclusion and occupational development teams to take part. We then drew everything together and highlighted any areas for further discussion.

It worked well to divide the diagnostic tool into segments when we asked teams for input. We colour coded the elements that we wanted specific teams to concentrate on. Dividing the tool up in this way meant that it did not feel too overwhelming. We also pre-populated some of the fields to highlight positive things and show other teams the type of information we were after.

What we’ve achieved so far

Our Trust does a lot to support workforce wellbeing, spread across many departments and roles. Using the diagnostic tool helped us engage with stakeholders from many teams and draw all the information together.

We are using the diagnostic tool to inform a wellbeing strategy, to shape what the staff fund is used for and to inform a bid for charity funding.

We identified that we could do more to communicate about the wellbeing support available, such as circulating short punchy messages about national offers. As a result, we are updating the list of wellbeing offers and resources on our intranet and developing new communications materials.

We are also developing more initiatives related to musculoskeletal support and coping with stress as stakeholders identified these as priorities.

“The Framework contains tools to make life easier. The wheel diagram is great for communicating simply about offers. The diagnostic tool has bought a group of people together to focus on wellbeing and any gaps we can improve on. It is an opportunity to get a huge amount of information together in one place. Data always seems a struggle with wellbeing initiatives, but the Framework shows that we have data available and helps pull it together. This shows successes and gaps in supporting staff and will help us concentrate our time this year.” – Trust representative

What we’ve learnt so far

  • The Framework helps to put wellbeing activities into categories which assists with planning, implementation and communicating with staff. The Framework’s wheel diagram is a simple tool that is easy to use to have conversations about what wellbeing means to staff and managers and what support they want. It can be used in meetings for 10 minutes to start conversations about wellbeing. The wheel could also be used to create an infographic to highlight the offers available under each of the segments.
  • Get like-minded team members involved in completing the diagnostic tool. It may work well to bring people together for a meeting to review the tool, rather than just asking people to fill out a spreadsheet in isolation. We are using the tool as an introduction to our wellbeing strategy, to bring stakeholders along on the journey. It is not possible to cover the whole tool in one meeting, so we broke it down into sections.
  • Use the diagnostic tool to help decide what to prioritise, rather than starting with a solution already in mind. There is little point inserting data into a diagnostic tool if you already have a clear idea of what you want to do. You don’t need to fill in the entire tool. It might be more useful to focus on just some elements or to look at what the ‘quick wins’ might be in a certain area.