Widening the range of people thinking about wellbeing

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust used the Health and Wellbeing Framework to encourage more people to consider workforce wellbeing in their day to day roles

What we’ve done

Who we are

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust is an integrated organisation providing acute hospital services, community health services and adult social care. We employ about 6,500 staff including nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, consultants and physiotherapists. We also have over 800 volunteers.

What we did

We used tools from the Health and Wellbeing Framework to guide conversations with staff about what would support their health and wellbeing.

  • The Framework includes a ‘wheel’ diagram setting out seven key elements for building a positive health and wellbeing culture. We used the wheel in presentations to encourage staff to talk about what wellbeing means to them. We also used the wheel in discussions with ‘Wellbeing Buddies’ so people could see how broad wellbeing is.
  • We met with stakeholders and decided to focus on two topic areas first. We then visited individual teams, managers and frontline staff to ask them about the health and wellbeing support available about those topics and to hear their needs. We used the Framework’s diagnostic tool to guide the questions we asked staff then used staff feedback to complete elements of the diagnostic tool. The tool is a colourful spreadsheet, split up into sections, so is easy to use.
  • The health and wellbeing leads shared content from the Framework with other Trust teams to consider in their work, for example the People Committee; a facilities / environment group; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion; and business quality forum.

What we’ve achieved so far

The Framework:

  • helped us focus our energies on what is important to us as a Trust
  • reinforced that what we were focusing on was worthwhile, which strengthened evidence for our priorities amongst senior leaders
  • encouraged us to treat wellbeing more holistically
  • identified some gaps in our health and wellbeing offers, which we went on to secure charitable funds to address (such as Mental Health First Aid training for managers)
  • helped a wider range of teams consider workforce wellbeing routinely in their work
  • made us more aware of the importance of using data and measuring the impact of initiatives
  • helped us update our Health and Wellbeing Strategy

“Using the Framework has changed how I think. It made thinking about wellbeing exciting again. You can focus on sections based on the highest priorities for your staff at the time. You don’t have to report back on your self-assessments so you can be honest. I wasn’t a data person before but now I see the value and am saying we need some measures around this.” – Trust representative

“We are having more conversations with staff about their wellbeing. A success of this model is being able to engage with other groups. We are involving more people in thinking about health and wellbeing as part of their day-to-day work. The Framework is not a separate thing, it is integrated into our work. It is a tool – something that helps us, rather than governs us.” – Trust representative

What we’ve learnt so far

  • It is worth trying the new Framework, especially the simple wheel diagram. This version is more positive than previous tools, focuses on wellbeing rather than sickness and is less prescriptive. We feel that it focuses on the right content including culture change and prevention. The Framework has helped reignite our passion for wellbeing because it is more holistic and flexible. You don’t need to use a lot of written material.
  • The diagnostic tool contains seven key areas. You don’t need to focus on everything at once. We decided to focus first on ‘relationships’ and ‘managers and leaders’ because this resonated with what staff were saying was important. You can pick and choose what you want to do.
  • We only have a few people in our Wellbeing Team so we can’t cover everything at once, but this does not need to be ‘owned’ by wellbeing leads as everyone has a role to play in supporting staff. One of our People Plan strands is ‘we each have a voice that counts’, so it is important to us to seek staff views rather than wellbeing leads using the Framework in isolation. We found it worked well to visit teams and managers to have conversations, but we needed to adapt the words in the diagnostic tool to make the concepts easier for frontline teams to apply to themselves.