NHS staff health and wellbeing

Helping you to look after the health and wellbeing of your staff and contribute to the delivery of quality patient care.
An exercise class, stretching.

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 and NHS Improvement worked with twelve NHS organisations to create a Health and Wellbeing Framework and accompanying diagnostic tool to help NHS organisations plan and implement their own approach for improving staff health and wellbeing. The framework was developed by NHS Employers, NHS England and NHS Improvement, who engaged with the SPF through the Workforce Issues Group. 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.

Tools and resources to support the health and wellbeing of staff

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

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    • Headspace - a science-backed app in mindfulness and meditation, providing unique tools and resources to help reduce stress, build resilience, and aid better sleep. This app is free to all NHS staff with an NHS email address until 31 December 2022.
    • How are you feeling NHS? toolkit - This emotional wellbeing toolkit from NHS Employers explains the contributors to decreased emotional wellbeing and shows how to encourage improvements.
    • Liberate - an app offering culturally sensitive and diverse meditations curated for the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BME) community. It is now available free to all staff in the NHS. 
    • Mental Health at Work has 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.
    • Second Victim Support - a resource for clinicians who are involved in a patient safety incident, their colleagues and the organisations they work for.
    • Mind, the mental health charity, has developed a number of resources to help support yourself and colleagues who are experiencing mental health issues at work.
    • The Working Carer’s Passport can be used if you’re a carer, or supporting a working carer in your organisation to have a conversation about caring responsibilities. Access practical tools, useful resources and further support.
    • Public Health England developed a free online toolkit which asks five simple questions to help you manage and maintain your mental health.
    • The Zero Suicide Alliance is a collaboration of NHS trusts, businesses and individuals who are all committed to suicide prevention in the UK and beyond. The alliance is ultimately concerned with improving support for people contemplating suicide by raising awareness of and promoting free suicide prevention training which is accessible to all.