Wellbeing Guardians

The wellbeing of all colleagues is fundamental for us as a caring organisation. Boards and senior leadership teams need to give wellbeing the highest priority as ensuring colleagues are happy and healthy feeds through into better patient care.

Wellbeing Guardians are pivotal enablers in helping to create an organisational culture where empowering the health and wellbeing of our NHS people is routine and considered across all organisational activities and decisions.

The role arose out of the 2019 NHS Staff and Learners’ Mental Wellbeing Review, and was championed through the subsequent NHS People Plan. The Wellbeing Guardian Implementation plan can be found here.

A Wellbeing Guardian’s exact role is likely to vary between organisations when considering the different form and function of provider. National guidelines recommending the introduction of this role need to be interpreted locally in the context of specific organisational need. However, it is highly recommended that the role is filled by someone who can independently challenge senior organisational leaders.

As the Wellbeing Guardian role is that of assurance, for larger healthcare organisations, it is expected that this role sits within a Non-Executive Director (NED) portfolio. It is recognised that such roles do not exist in all NHS settings (e.g. in primary care) and therefore organisations/systems should consider an equivalent role that enables the independent challenge of senior leaders in line with the principles outlined in the Wellbeing Guardian guidance.


You can find out more on our Wellbeing Guardian community area hosted by the Leadership Academy which includes:

Why the role is important

What the role involves and how to implement it

How to get started and implement the role

Community development and resources

Regional networks