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NHS staff ‘benefiting’ from wellbeing schemes

6 February 2014

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Health and wellbeing programmes are benefiting 300,000 more NHS staff, a major audit has revealed. 

The report from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) showed that clear guidance is being distributed to help organisations attend to staff wellbeing, which helps managers to be approachable, discrete and effective in resolving problems. 

There have also been significant increases in dedicated policies covering specific health areas, Implementing NICE public health guidance for the workplace found. 

 The key areas are:

 – Obesity plans have more than doubled, from 13% in 2010 to 28%

 – Physical activity plans have increased from 24  to 44%

 – Mental wellbeing has increased from 48 to 57%

 – Smoking is stable at 75%

 – Long-term sickness absence continues to be 100%

Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers said: “There can be no doubt that the wellbeing of NHS staff and their engagement with their employers has increased. But we still need across-the board improvements to capitalise on the momentum that’s building around wellbeing and to create more projects in areas like obesity, smoking and alcohol like our NHS Dry January campaign.

“Of greatest importance are those schemes that provide early interventions, support networks and different ways for staff to take responsibility for their wellbeing and report any concerns in confidence.

“As with so many things in the NHS, it’s clear that a culture of confidence and openness is essential and that everyone has a part to play in developing this. People who are given the confidence to speak up about their worries and stresses are more likely to highlight issues that could affect their performance or patient care, and we need this to happen.”

The report was based on an audit of 115 trusts employing 562,723 staff members.