Taking a more holistic view of workforce wellbeing

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust used the Health and Wellbeing Framework to raise awareness of how broad ‘wellbeing’ is

What we’ve done

Who we are

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is the main provider of acute and specialist care services in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the South West. We serve a population of about 430,000 people, plus many visitors to the area every year. We have about 5,000 staff and a budget of around £380 million.

What we did

We used the Health and Wellbeing Framework to illustrate the wide range of things that influence workforce wellbeing.

One wellbeing lead completed the Framework’s diagnostic tool, one tab at a time, and then used the results to start conversations. The lead ringfenced a day in the diary to work through the tool and returned to it every so often to add more information.

What we’ve achieved so far

As a result of using the Framework:

  • we broadened how we think of wellbeing. For instance, ‘speaking up’ was included in the diagnostic tool so our wellbeing lead now has regular meetings with the Trust’s Speak Up Guardian
  • we shared key findings from the diagnostic tool with relevant committees to highlight where further assistance and investment was needed. The tool gave the sense of an impartial assessment
  • we identified important areas for development in terms of leadership and management. Leaders often talk positively about wellbeing, but other priorities and limited budgets mean action is sometimes limited

“The diagnostic tool helped check the breadth of our wellbeing offer and encouraged us to take a more holistic view rather than focusing on specific projects. It reassured us that we are doing many good things. It also highlighted the need to gain more buy-in from leadership so that awareness of the importance of wellbeing is matched by investment.” – Trust representative

What we’ve learnt so far

  • The diagnostic tool is large and includes many elements. This is useful for showing the wide scope of health and wellbeing. However the spreadsheet format may not be engaging for everyone. Using the ‘wellbeing wheel’ tool to spark conversations in meetings may be a more visual, interactive and creative way of getting similar information.
  • It might help to do a quick analysis of where you are and then spend time going into depth in places where you identify issues. Organisations could scan all the tabs in the diagnostic tool and pick a component to focus on where you think there are areas for improvement. You do not need to work through every tab or go in a particular order. The tool may identify lots of potential areas for development, but it may work best to hone in on doing one thing well.
  • Don’t get disheartened. The tool includes some things that wellbeing leads may not be able to influence easily, such as staff workload. It is good to have these things highlighted, but individual leads are not able to recruit more staff or make significant environmental changes. Use the tool as a way to highlight everything that influences wellbeing to help teams across the organisation work towards common goals. It may help to schedule regular meetings with a wellbeing lead from another organisation, spending an hour asking each other questions and brainstorming ideas.