Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest in England. It includes Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Solihull Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Birmingham Chest Clinic. The Trust is one of the highest performing in the UK, voted Acute Trust of the Year in the 2006 Health Service Journal Awards and in the Nursing Times’ Top 10 Places to Work in 2005.

The Trust’s five values – excellence, cherishing, finding a way, innovation for advancement and working together – are how staff seeks to deliver the best in patient care. Staff survey results in 2007 demonstrated that 68% of staff were positive about the Trust overall, and the Trust had a Positive Leadership Score of 66%. This is excellent and forms a strong foundation for the future.

Our Health and Wellbeing Programme

Clearly Defined Vision & Goals

In February 2008, following an external audit of our Occupational Health provision by Wellbeing4business Ltd, the Trust built a clearly defined Wellbeing strategy to provide an integrated and cost-effective service to all employees and meet the business needs of managers and the Trust. The Trust is committed to safeguarding and enhancing the health and wellbeing of our people to improve their quality of life and optimise their contribution to the Trust and its patients. We are committed to establishing a culture that drives injury and ill health prevention and encourages individuals to achieve a beneficial work and home-life balance.

The goals of the strategy were:

      • Develop a wellbeing champion group and defined work streams.
      • Absence reduce by 0.5% by December 08 and by 1% by December 09
      • Reduce long terms sickness by 10%
      • Engage senior management and the board.
      • Provide 247/365 support on mental wellbeing and home/life issues.
      • Re-brand Occupational Health
      • Provide process improvements to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of OH practices.
      • Occupational Health and Wellbeing Centre will be an integral part of the Trust. They will integrate fully with aspects such as Occupational Therapy, onsite gymnasium, HR and Corporate Structure.

The Results

Tangible evidence of the impact of the project with measurable and quantifiable results, particularly financial impacts

      • Regularly report levels of absence and costs to our board, and it is viewed as a business-critical issue.
      • Sickness overall in the Trust has come down by 2%. Absence rates are falling month on month this year (allowing for seasonal variations), e.g. September 08 was 4.5% compared to September 07 of 5.9%
      • Long-term absence has reduced by 37% in the last 12 months. Of the 100 long-term cases we have been case managing in the last few weeks, 80 are ‘closed’ with the majority back at work.
      • Short-term sickness by 14%
      • This year’s savings are estimated at 2 days per person (16k more days of work) and a reduction of £1.9m on average pay costs for staff who are off sick. Total savings, taking into account the reduction in cover requirements and productivity gains from the decrease, are estimated to be £3.8m
      • The reputation of HR and OH improved as absence greatly impacts the quality of patient care and costs.
      • OH efficiency has resulted in staffing cost savings of 15%
      • There has been an increase in Health club membership following Activ8’s promotion by 50 new members over three months.

External recognition by Dame Carol Black

“Dear Mandy, Terrific! What wonderful progress. Please do keep me informed. If I may, I will use you and your work as an example of innovation and imagination. Best wishes,  Carol”