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NHS leaders pledge support for staff health and wellbeing
09 May 2013
Leaders of the new NHS system have signed pledges supporting the health and wellbeing of the NHS workforce. The meeting, which took place on 23rd April, was the first meeting of the NHS leaders since the new NHS system began operating on 1 April 2013....
All committed to ensuring that staff health and wellbeing will be part of how their organisations' performance is measured, and to improving their workplace culture.
At the NHS Health & Wellbeing Summit in London, the leaders agreed that this support for staff health and wellbeing is crucial if the NHS is to work efficiently, maintain a committed workforce and deliver high quality care at the best value for the taxpayer.
The five pledges symbolise the signatories' commitment to:
- Foster a culture that promotes better physical and mental health and wellbeing for staff in all workplaces used by their organisation.
- Work to strengthen staff engagement both in and through these endeavours.
- Include measures of employee health and wellbeing within Key Performance Indicators and other performance monitoring systems within their organisation.
- Sign up to the relevant parts of the Public Health Responsibility Deal for their staff.
- Exploit the relationships they have with other NHS organisations, sharing expertise and experience in ways of safeguarding and improving staff health and wellbeing.
The event heard from health minister Dr Dan Poulter MP about what is expected from the NHS in terms of its commitment to staff health and wellbeing, and from Dame Carol Black who outlined the risks of not taking action.
Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said at the summit: ÒThe new NHS system needs to find innovative ways to lead as the new national organisations take up their roles. I'm delighted that the first time they have come together is to highlight the importance of staff health and wellbeing to patient care and to commit to doing all they can to support staff.
"It's a great way to kick off a new approach to joint system leadership. We know investing in staff health is investing in patients."
Health minister Dr Dan Poulter MP said at the summit: "There is clear evidence that healthy staff provide better care for patients. Effective programmes in the workplace and a supportive culture among colleagues help individuals make small steps, like reducing alcohol or smoking, which can make a huge difference in the long run for both staff and patients."
Following the NHS Health & Wellbeing Review (Boorman, 2009), staff health and wellbeing and sickness absence reduction continues to be a priority for many NHS organisations. The review predicted savings of £555 million a year if NHS staff sickness absence could be reduced by a third.