Promoting partnership working in the NHS

Health and Wellbeing

To deliver high quality patient care, the NHS needs staff that are healthy, well and at work. Looking after the health and wellbeing of staff directly contributes to the delivery of quality patient care.

Developing a sustainable health and wellbeing approach needs strong and clear leadership, supported by a solid strategy that is continually developing and is underpinned by a proactive and engaged approach.

Research shows that where NHS trusts prioritise staff health and wellbeing and actively engage with staff to develop work in this area, levels of engagement increase, as does staff morale, loyalty, innovation, productivity, all resulting in higher quality patient care.

The NHS cannot deliver care without its staff and depends on having a healthy and productive workforce. Line managers are key to facilitating open communication with their staff, and this can play a huge role in keeping staff well, motivated, feeling valued and empowered to perform to their full potential and provide high quality patient care. 

NHS England has worked with twelve NHS organisations to create a new Health and Wellbeing Framework and accompanying diagnostic tool to help NHS organisations plan and implement their own approach for improving staff health and wellbeing. This framework has been developed by NHS Employers, NHS England and NHS Improvement, who engaged with the SPF through the Workforce Issues Group (WIG). They were also supported by partners across the NHS, voluntary sector and government to bring best practice, research and insights together in one accessible place for the first time for NHS organisations.

 

SPF partner organisations have developed some useful tools and resources, to help support the health and wellbeing of healthcare staff. 

Useful resources

NHS health and wellbeing framework to help NHS organisations improve their support offer to staff. The SPF encourage employers to work in partnership with trade unions to use, analyse and act upon the results of the framework.

NHS Employers website has a section on health work and wellbeing which contains useful information on topics such as engaging your board, managing sickness absence, helping staff with mental health problems and historical evidence on the importance of wellbeing. They have also created an emotional wellbeing toolkit - How are you feeling today?

NHS Improvement's create a culture and leadership programme:

The BMA's supporting health and wellbeing report (October 2018) makes recommendations for improving the health and wellbeing of doctors. 

The Welsh NHS Confederation has created a resource on arts, health and wellbeing. Read how arts engagement supports positive health outcomes.

Head first - a mental wellness resource developed in partnership. This was designed for the ambulance sector but can be used in other sectors.

Mental Health at Work have developed a comprehensive guide to supporting mental health and work, including documents, guides, tips, videos, courses, podcasts, templates and information from key organisations across the UK.

Case studies

Implementing a just and learning culture - Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Collaborative approach to improve staff health and wellbeing - Manchester University Foundation Trust and the Royal College of Midwives.

Reasonable adjustment passport - Derbyshire Community Health Services Foundation Trust

Feel good Friday - North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust

Health and wellbeing strategy for staff - St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

 

The NHS Staff Council’s health, safety and wellbeing partnership group (HSWPG), aims to promote a safer working environment, raise standards of workplace health, safety and wellbeing and promote best practice across the service for all healthcare staff and the independent sector. 

Listen to the chairs of the HSWPG, James Tracey and Kim Sunley, talking about what successful partnership working looks like, why it’s important and the benefits it can bring. In this podcast find out more about the role of the HSWPG and the various resources the group has produced for NHS managers, including guidance on preventing and managing sickness absence, stress and back pain as well as the comprehensive workplace health and safety standards document.

 

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