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Why an effective Staff Health Strategy matters

Our responsibility for the health of our staff extends far beyond the core responsibility of providing a safe working environment.

We aim to be an excellent employer, an ‘employer of choice’, where staff have a ‘good work experience’ that is fair and offers each employee some influence over how the work is done and, as a result, an increasing sense of self-worth.

As well as the obvious advantages for staff, this is also good for our patients. The links between a healthy workforce and positive outcomes for patients are well documented.

And, of course, there is the compelling economic argument for improving the health and wellbeing of our staff to help increase staff attendance rates.

An effective Staff Health Strategy therefore benefits our staff, our patients and our organisation.

Anne MacPherson, director of human resources and organisational development, chairs a small group responsible for the development of the Staff Health Strategy.

She said: “NHSGGC has a responsibility to take care of its employees.

“We do this in many ways – through our occupational health service, through comprehensive health and safety policies and through a range of HR policies designed to help balance home and work lives.

“The Staff Health Strategy has driven our approach to workforce health since 2008.

“The aim of the strategy is to improve the health of staff by improving working culture and conditions, increasing the availability of healthy lifestyle choices, tackling inequalities in the workplace and building capacity for health improvement.

“Our approach in developing our strategy is to support staff to take a greater interest in their own health and wellbeing and providing the opportunities to do so.

“This includes an equal focus on mental health and wellbeing.

“In recognition of this being an increasing issue both nationally and locally, we are less concerned about the distinctions between work related issues and non-work related issues, but focus on ensuring appropriate signposting of managers and staff to appropriate resources.”