South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust - Gold award

South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) have been awarded a gold accreditation for their health and well-being programmes operated throughout their organisation.

The organisation

With an annual turnover of approximately £300m, South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) provides integrated care including mental health, learning disability, social care and community services. They provide services across Bedfordshire, Essex and Luton and employ approximately 6,100 people and serve a population of 1.8 million.

What we did and why

The well-being strategy was developed in line with organisational objectives. Key to its development, the strategy was communicated to all staff via the intranet.

Focus groups were arranged throughout the trust to engage with staff and gain an understanding of the activities that would be most popular.

The 'Shape Your Life' day was also an opportunity to advertise sporting events and activities to encourage staff to take up a new activity as part of the NHS challenge.

How we did it

Staff well-being is a high priority for the trust with the chief executive chairing the well-being steering group which meets each month to discuss current initiatives. A designated well-being team and strategy have been developed to embed a strong well-being culture throughout the trust.

Activities have been created, all of which are at low or no cost to the employee and many of the activities can be undertaken whilst at work or within lunch breaks with line manager’s consent.

A pedometer challenge was launched in January 2011 with staff and service users taking part and recording the number of steps completed over five days. Teams of ten were then entered into an organisational league table and certificates awarded to each team member. 485 staff took part with the winning team receiving a hamper of healthy goodies along with a photo and article in the monthly staff magazine.

Details of activities are featured on the trust’s dedicated well-being page of the intranet, on the daily 'Trust Today' News and posters for staff notice boards and monthly team brief.

Five-a-side football was launched in June 2011 with two free events taking place. Other activities included cricket and rugby with more events planned for the future.

Marketplace styled events called 'Shape Your Life' have been organised where staff can view and pick up literature on local health and well-being services and enjoy taster treatments including hand massage, reflexology, and back, neck and shoulder massage. Group activities also take place as part of the event and staff can try Zumba, belly dancing and much more. Following the success of this event, Zumba classes for staff have been organised.

Local services featured at the 'Shape Your Life' day have the option of entering the trust’s staff discount directory. This is promoted throughout the trust offering staff to use local health and well-being services at a discounted rate.

The trust uses online communication methods to congratulate and motivate individuals, teams and departments. Staff receive a daily communication called 'Trust Today' as well as there being a well-being intranet page that all staff can access.

Results and next steps

  • There has been a noticeable reduction in sickness absence some of which may be attributed to improvements in staff health and well-being resulting from increased levels of physical activity.
  • The trust is currently in the process of creating a cycle to work scheme in which staff will pay a small amount from their salary each month in return for a new bike.
  • The internal staff discount directory will be re-launched and promoted in addition to wider NHS discounts offered.
  • The well-being team is planning road shows throughout the trust to promote the benefits of physical activity linked to the NHS challenge.
  • Directors have nominated exceptional staff to carry the Olympic torch – this has been as part of a national campaign that the trust has incorporated into our local promotion of physical activity.
  • A well-being champion’s network is in development that will include staff and provide a well-being focus in each locality and department. This will also facilitate feedback on activities locally. The champions will initiate and develop activities to ensure the network’s success.

Contact details

Emily Baker
HR Project Coordinator
01375 364534