About the programme
Improving the health and wellbeing of our staff is an essential component in making the NHS the best place to work, which was a commitment of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Understanding absence trends and causes are key to improving health and wellbeing for staff across the NHS. In 2017, the sickness absence rate across all NHS providers was 4.2%, while the overall average in the public sector was identified by the Office of National Statistics as 2.6% for the same period. Key findings from the 2018 NHS Staff Survey show record highs of staff feeling unwell due to work-related stress (39.8%) and musculoskeletal issues (27.6%).
In the first year of the programme, we have worked with a number of NHS trusts and foundation trusts to build and shape our work. 70 of these trusts have received direct support from the programme to help them improve staff health and wellbeing and reduce their staff sickness rates. Our programme is founded on the organisational enablers described in the NHS Health and Wellbeing Framework:
- leadership and management
- data and communication
- healthy working environment
These provide the foundation for health interventions and form the primary focus for any NHS organisation looking to improve the health and wellbeing of their people.