Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Work on wellbeing

15th September 2023


As one of the largest community and mental health Trusts in the country, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust provides a wide range of integrated healthcare services, including mental health, intellectual disability (learning disability) and physical health services across 230 sites and several neighbouring counties.

More than 9,500 dedicated staff provide these services in a variety of settings, ranging from the community through to acute wards, as well as secure settings. Our colleagues come to work to make a difference and, as an organisation, we are passionate about making a positive difference to their health and wellbeing too.

In 2022. the trust formed an in-house health and wellbeing service, which combined staff health and wellbeing, occupational health and staff counselling, to offer a complete package of support to all colleagues - preventative, proactive and responsive reactive. This comprehensive offer includes:

  • A bespoke occupational health service designed around the needs of our people. The strategic move to invest in an in-house occupational health service has allowed us to provide colleagues with timely access to a multi-professional team. It has also offered us the opportunity to shape and influence how we support services at pre-employment checks, during employment and at the end of employment.
  • Staff counselling is available to all colleagues via self-referral or manager referral. Face-to-face counselling is on offer, as well as sessions via digital platforms, which improves accessibility across the Trust. Recently, we have seen an increase in colleagues selecting face-to-face appointments and so, in response, we have opened more clinics across the trust. There is also a ‘workshop team’ - counsellors who offer team group therapeutic sessions.
  • A fast-track staff MSK (Musculoskeletal) physiotherapy service is available to all colleagues, and this offers a combination of telephone consultations, MS teams consultations or face-to-face appointments, with a wide range of clinics across the trust.
  • The Staff Health and Wellbeing team provide colleagues with everything they need to keep themselves safe and well in work and at home. We have created an easy access guide to all our health and wellbeing services using a QR code, alongside other guides such as a post incident support guide, financial wellbeing guide and staff support in court guide. We also raise awareness of the staff health and wellbeing offer via the trust induction and staff engagement roadshows.
  • We also have more than 230 health and wellbeing champions and mental health first aiders, who are key to supporting the health and wellbeing agenda. They work with colleagues in their local areas and share information and raise awareness of the support available. They also assist with the monthly ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ agendas (a day of drop-in activities, events and workshops).
  • We have menopause champions, who, having received training from Henpicked, are available to support colleagues, deliver menopause awareness training to teams and managers and facilitate menopause peer support groups. In addition, we have developed a peri-menopause and menopause policy and guidance document and are working towards a menopause accreditation.
  • We also have staff carer champions, who have received training and support from Carers UK. They offer individualised carer support and advice and facilitate colleague carer support groups. Similarly, we are also working on a colleague carers guide, in an accessible and understandable format for carers (and their line managers) to help them access the right support and leave entitlements.
  • The Wellbeing Team and champions also run a wide range of peer support groups, covering stress, bereavement, miscarriage, cancer, men's health and environmental anxiety, with full support from our staff counselling and peer support teams.
  • We have also launched a mediation service so we can help facilitate more healthy discussions between colleagues and resulting in safe and positive outcomes.

We know that an organisation is nothing without its people, which is why we are committed to creating a great environment and culture for our colleagues, and one where their health and wellbeing is fully supported.

It is in this regard that the Wellbeing Team has linked in with the trust’s Energy and Environment Department, where work is being undertaken collaboratively to meet a number of Our People and Our Estate objectives, which are contained within the Trust Green Plan 2022 – 2027 Our Journey to Net Zero. Projects have a focus on maximising the use of our greenspace for therapeutic benefit, but also as a space for staff, carers and visitors to the trust to access. At the same time, we are maximising the opportunities for conserving, maintaining, and enhancing biodiversity. The health benefits of spending time outside and connecting with nature are well documented and this is something fully supported by the trust.

Lynn Walker, MIEMA, CEnv, is head of sustainability at the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Image credit: Shutterstock

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