At the time of development, there was little or no focus on employee health and wellbeing in the NOC NHS Trust. During development, NOC NHS Trust didn’t focus on employee health. Funding for assistance programs, health services, and absence management went to 3.7% of workers, addressing sickness after it happened. However, few knew about Trust’s wellbeing initiatives.

Our Work

The programme aimed to produce an Employee Wellbeing Strategy to enhance the health and wellbeing of employees. Therefore, we also wanted to enhance the consistency and quality of care delivered to our patients.

A health and wellbeing strategy was developed in partnership with Wellbeing4business. This involved consulting employees and managers across the Trust, staff side representatives and occupational health and employee assistance providers. The board has endorsed the strategy and is governed through the Health and Safety Committee. This ensures a collaborative and integrated strategic approach to all related activities.

A key aspect of the programme was to redefine the traditional role of Bullying and Harassment Officers. This is to become Staff Support Officers broadening the remit and skill set through specific training championing and signposting health and wellbeing activities. Therefore, then supporting staff encountering workplace conflict and helping staff to identify strategies to deal with stressors.

The program’s success is reported to the Health and Safety Committee. This is measured using statistics such as reduced sickness absence and turnover, more service use, NHS Staff Survey feedback, fewer patient complaints, and internal incident reports about staffing and work-related injuries. We’ll also assess qualitative data from Staff Support Officers, providers, and staff participating in activities.

NHS Project Management Success 

Data taken from within the Trust as of 28 February 2010 indicate the early success of the programme in the following areas:

  • Average of days lost to sickness absence per employee reduced from 8.4% to 7.3%.
  • Employee Assistance Programme utilisation rates have increased from 3% to 9% across a broad range of areas (no particular area of concern).
  • Occupational Health referrals in the last quarter for psychological problems have reduced by 83%.
  • Days lost due to absence for psychological reasons reduced by 25%.
  • 56% of staff feel that the Trust is committed to staff health and wellbeing.

Through internal leadership development programmes, the Trust has promoted the ‘Corporate Athlete’ concept. This enabled managers to explore the connection between physical, psychological, social, environmental and economic influences from a personal and management point of view. Therefore, this has developed an understanding that good leadership behaviours can positively and powerfully influence their staff, ultimately enhancing the patient experience.

Client Comment

Bev Edgar, Director of Workforce NOC NHS Trust 2009 “I have known Mark Holt-Rogers for 3 years and have been working with him during the last year to develop the Health and Wellbeing Strategy for the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust. Mark is always keen to explore the most efficient way to deliver all types of employee services. He is a specialist in identifying best practices in Occupational Health and Employee Assistance Programmes. His many contacts enable him to navigate provider services cost-effectively, often resulting in considerable employer savings. Mark and his team will be an asset to any organisation. Therefore, recognising that their proactive approach to staff health requires new working methods.

The Wellbeing4business approach is not solely based on saving money. Still, it fosters an open and transparent culture that ensures staff is more forthcoming in communicating any long-term health problems without

hiding their reasons for missing work. This holistic approach ensures employees’ physical, psychological and social health is understood and shared with managers and the HR team. I would strongly recommend the Resilience and Corporate Athlete programmes in delivering sustainable changes to managing health and wellbeing whilst challenging managers around their health issues. The strategy Mark has enabled the NOC to develop demonstrates our commitment to promoting the health and wellbeing of our employees. Therefore, this is to enhance the quality of service delivered to patients.”

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre Oxford

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