Trust awarded bronze accreditation for staff health and wellbeing

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s dedication to promoting the health and wellbeing of its staff has been recognised with the achievement of a Bronze Award from the Better Health at Work Awards.

The Better Health at Work Award is a progression based award initiative that recognises the efforts of employers who address and embed health and wellbeing within their workplace.

As part of this work staff at the Trust were asked for feedback on areas where they feel they need more support in terms of their health and wellbeing. The top areas identified were stress and musculoskeletal problems (muscle, bone and joint injuries often caused by accidents, falls or contact during sports).

Following this the Trust launched many campaigns and initiatives to support staff including the introduction of Health Advocates; staff members who are passionate about championing health and wellbeing in the workplace. They are trained to signpost staff to advice and support.

The mental wellbeing of staff has also been prioritised to help staff manage stress, sleep and work life balance. To assist with this the Trust delivers internal mindfulness courses, wellbeing and resilience workshops and sleep training workshops. The Trust also launched the Employee Assistance Programme; a 24/7 staff helpline providing counselling, legal and financial advice as well as advice on stress management and support.

A dedicated health and wellbeing section on the Trust’s staff intranet is now up and running, where links to various mental health resources, sources of advice and links to training courses are available. Staff who experience musculoskeletal problems also have the opportunity to have faster access to physiotherapy services.

 Sharon Harper, Associate Director of Workforce at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“I’m thrilled that the Trust’s efforts and dedication have been well-deservedly recognised by the Better Health at Work Awards.

“We have done a lot of work over the past year to improve and prioritise the health and wellbeing of our staff as we know this is an important area to focus on.

“The next step will be to continue developing health and wellbeing initiatives for our staff linking closely in with North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust on our quest to attain the Silver Award.”

Colleagues at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust also achieved their Bronze Award earlier in the year and now both Trusts are working jointly together to achieve the Silver Award status.

Michael Smillie, Executive Director of Finance, Estates and Digital said:

“The work our health advocates do is really valued by the whole Trust and as a direct result of their work and great spirit we’ve managed to secure our first visible step towards being a healthy and wellbeing focussed employer through being accredited with a Bronze Level Better Health at Work Award. The wider benefits are so important for us all – I am privileged to work in an organisation where people take on health advocacy with such positivity.”