Sussex NHS praised for good practice in national report

Hastings and Eastbourne web pictures
Hastings and Eastbourne web pictures
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Examples of good practice in supporting staff at work by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are highlighted in a new national report from the Royal College of Physicians.

A study from the Royal College has looked at how well the NHS is delivering improvements in the health and wellbeing of their workforce (‘Implementing NICE public health guidance for the workplace: Overcoming barriers and sharing success’).

Sussex Partnership is singled out for special mention in the report for three elements of its work:

- Including staff health and wellbeing issues as part of the Trust’s overall values and through conferences and monthly sessions with its leading clinicians and managers

- A training course in mindfulness, developed within the Trust, to help staff monitor and manage their mental health and well being – 78 percent of staff who attended said the course had helped them manage stress at work

- Including questions at recruitment interviews to explore candidates’ values and attitudes, based on the Trust’s Better by Experience Commitments.

Sue Morris, Executive Director of Corporate Services for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said, ‘I am pleased to be able to share our initiatives with other NHS organisations through this report. We adopted a staff health and wellbeing strategy in Sussex Partnership especially because we understood the importance of supporting our hardworking and committed people in the workplace.

‘Our people are our most valued and valuable resource. As the report says, a healthy workforce is crucial in meeting the demand for safe, high quality patient care.’

The report measures current practice in the NHS against the guidelines from the National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE) on public health in the workplace. In the foreword the NHS Chief Executive Sir David Nicholson says, ‘To ensure the NHS has a committed, compassionate workforce that is as healthy and productive as possible, NHS organisations must address staff health and wellbeing… The findings and best practice examples in this report provide a major practical step towards helping trusts place staff health improvement high on the agenda.

Extracts from the report highlighting good practice at Sussex Partnership:

‘Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust run leadership conferences twice a year for between 150 and 200 leaders. They have included sessions on their three year H&WB strategy and their ‘better by experience’ organisational piece of work regarding their trust values. In addition, they hold monthly leadership sessions which regularly spend time on the staff health and wellbeing. The monthly live sessions are viewed simultaneously at three key locations and rotate around the sites as the host location. The sessions are also filmed and available for managers to run their own sessions locally. Their H&WB strategy was formally agreed by the board of directors and is monitored through the monthly HR report received by the board.’

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy

‘Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has implemented a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy training course for staff. The course is based around:

1. Self-compassion scale (SCS) The self-compassion scale is a self-report measure which aims to look into the three main dimensions of self-compassion: self-kindness, a sense of common humanity and mindfulness. Self-compassion has been significantly correlated with positive mental health outcomes such as a reduction in depression and anxiety and greater life satisfaction.

2. Perceived stress scale (PSS) The perceived stress scale measures the perception of stress. The items aim to look into how unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloaded respondents find their lives. 95% of participants thought the course had been important or very important to them and 78% of participants thought the course had been helpful or very helpful for managing stress at work.’

Behavioural recruitment interview questions

‘Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has developed a series of behavioural recruitment interview questions asking for specific examples and experiences from the candidate’s past. These are based on the Trust’s “Better by Experience’ values. Interviewers can then determine whether or not candidates have demonstrated the required competencies by the examples they use. For example: Give an example where you underestimated the impact of what you said or did on other people’s feelings – to demonstrate that the individual understands the impact of what they say and do on how others feel.’

Implementing NICE public health guidance for the workplace: Overcoming barriers and sharing success. Part of the Health and Work Development Unit Staff Health Improvement Project. Published by the Royal College of Physicians.