The POSHH partnership project on health and well-being
The Partnership on Occupational Safety and Health in Healthcare (POSHH Group), a sub-group of the NHS Staff Council is working in partnership on a stress project. The project is a direct response to the Boorman review of Health and Well-Being of staff in the NHS. In line with the Boorman recommendations, and with a focus on the healthcare sector, this project has been commissioned to:
- Identify best practice relating to working conditions that contribute towards a healthy workplace and workforce
- To establish a valid and useable evidence base on healthy working practices through the completion of a tailored health and well-being assessment with a limited number of organisations
- Publish a final report on the health and well-being project which includes case studies of best practice that can be disseminated to all
This work is being conducted with selected NHS organisations and involves the completion of a bespoke health and well-being assessment, i.e. one that will be tailored to the collaborating organisation and will result in each host organisation receiving a personalised health and well-being report, together with support in implementing any change on the basis of the findings.
Work has now started with a number of trusts from the South West, Midlands and North East where the SHA is leading a group of four interested trusts. The project covers acute, primary care, mental health and ambulance trusts. Interim results from the assessments will be delivered at the NHS Employers Conference on November 16th after which they will be published on the NHS Employers website. Work on the two subsequent phases of the project will continue through to 2011.
Health and Safety Executive – stress management standards
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now inspecting against the stress management standards with which all employers must be compliant by 2010.
The targets set by HSE are:
- to reduce the incidence of work-related ill health by 20 per cent
- to reduce the number of working days lost through work-related ill health by 30 per cent
- to ensure that people who are not working due to ill health or disability are given opportunities for rehabilitation back into work, or are offered opportunities to prepare for and find employment
to protect staff from work related stress.
Since April 2007, HSE inspectors have carried out stress inspections in 147 healthcare settings in Great Britain and repeat visits have been made to 53 organisations. The inspection findings suggest that progress is being made on managing work-related stress.
The stress team have worked with six trusts to develop online business solutions case studies which demonstrate the benefits to workers and patients of effective management of work related stress.
The NHS Employers ‘Open Your Mind’ campaign
Work has been undertaken to update the stress campaign literature on the NHS Employers website as part of their mental health awareness raising campaign.
The Occupational Health and Safety Standards
The Occupational Health and Safety Standards document published by the Partnership for Occupational Safety and Health in Healthcare pulls together legal requirements, examples of good practice and practical guidance on meeting standards for the key areas of occupational health and safety including stress, violence and bullying.
The Standards will both help trusts meet their legal obligations, and achieve the health and safety aspects of the Care Quality Commission's Standards for Better Health; NHS Litigation Authority standards and the Improving Working Lives initiative. The Standards also provide a useful checklist for those involved in the commissioning of care.