Having safe and effective wellbeing conversations

The NHS People Plan sets out the ambition that every member of the NHS should have a health and wellbeing conversation with their line manager or a peer, and that as part of this conversation, line managers will be expected to discuss an individual’s health and wellbeing, and any flexible working requirements, as well as equality, diversity and inclusion.

Alongside a range of national resources that were published in March 2021, NHS England offered a national training programme in 2021-22 that was designed to support NHS colleagues in having safe and effective wellbeing conversations.

Support for line managers and those holding wellbeing conversations

NHS England co-designed a national training programme with support from a number of NHS organisations, that aimed to offer delegates an opportunity to learn more about what a wellbeing conversation is, when it may be appropriate to initiate one and provide them with additional knowledge and skills to have safe and compassionate conversations about various aspects of wellbeing.  The programme, which was delivered by trained professionals from Passe Partout, also advised how to safely signpost staff to additional support when needed, and offered an opportunity to practice a conversation in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space of the session.

Feedback from the initial cohort delivered in 2021/22 was incredibly positive, with 88.9% of delegates who completed the post course survey reporting that they felt confident or very confident to initiate a wellbeing conversation after attending the training.  The programme has now ended and is being further evaluated to understand how line managers have used the training to support their teams and colleagues.

“I completed the training on Monday 24 January 2021 and can honestly say it was the best wellbeing training I have ever attended. The framework is an easy guide to follow, with conversations organically moving through the stages.  The facilitator was passionate about his subject, which in turn kept all attending engaged for the whole session. The break out activities offered not only an opportunity to practice and explore the framework, but also allow us to discover more about ourselves.

I would highly recommend this training to all, as I strongly believe it could help all on an individual and team level.”

Emily, Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, 2021/22 cohort.