Bold, innovative and employee led

In the UK we are now seeing a common direction and terminology and a national focus on health and wellbeing, which highlights the need for the wellness of every individual to be a much higher priority. NHS chief executive, David Nicholson said earlier this year: “We have an ambitious agenda to put quality at the heart of everything we do in the NHS. For staff, the quality agenda offers both exciting opportunities and some considerable challenges as we encourage them to work in new and innovative ways. A key part of our ambition is to turn the NHS from a service focused on sickness to one that promotes and supports wellness.”

An internal strategic choice
NHS London has a “bold vision (Healthcare for London – A framework for Action) to ensure every Londoner can access healthcare that is genuinely world class … and ‘ High Quality Care for All – NHS Next Stage review final reports demands that we go further. To achieve this vision, we must place staff at the centre of the movement to deliver real improvements.”1
To deliver this vision and in keeping with our values, NHS London has begun the implementation of a bold, innovative and integrated internal Wellness Strategy for all its employees. The development of this strategy has been influenced by other cultures around the world and examples of best practice within global wellness companies where world class service, performance and productivity have undergone step changes through the recognition that wellness is an untapped and fundamental way of closing the productivity gap and making a step change of 15-20 per cent in customer service levels.
This approach recognises the importance of taking traditional management practices and principles around productivity and performance and fusing them with proactive and positive action for all employees around individual health and wellbeing. 

Wellness reporting
As part of the implementation programme, NHS London will be looking at the range of reporting options available. These will come from high-level management reports generated from the Personal Wellness Profiles, such as:  

  • Organisational Wellness – measures against 44 different norms that covers all aspects of wellness at work and outside of work
  • Brand Ambassador – drawing on a basket of over 20 different lifestyle measures to provide insights on how staff “walk the talk” of wellness
  • Performance & Productivity Index – how well personal wellness capabilities will provide a solid foundation for improving and sustaining world class levels of healthcare and how well employer practices foster such levels of healthcare
  • Job Quality Index – insights into levels of engagement and retention of staff
  • Active Travel – how well integrated is everyday physical activity of walking and cycling into commuting and barriers to achieving higher levels of physical activity
  • 100 per cent v Low Attendance Wellness Attributes – what differentiates people in terms of Personal Wellness Management capabilities who have 100 per cent attendance (recognising also presenteeism as well) versus those with relatively high absences due to sub optimal wellness. Also what are the predictors of absence and how these can be minimised to maximise attendance and performance
  • Wellness Segmentation Profiling – to understand and develop tailored wellness services and resources 
  • RSI Predictor – to provide greater insights into the wellness habits and capabilities which enable some people to be at low risk of RSI and therefore move towards elimination and not just early intervention
  • Staff Physical Activity levels – utilising Department of Health five levels of exercise segmentation to determine numbers of people within the different bands - linked to Wellness Segmentation Report - targeted and tailored physical activity improvement plans based on World Health activity pyramid
  • Wellness Investment – optimising investment in wellness development - frequency tables of the different wellness development activities - readiness to change stages - locus of control scores

As part of the scorecard and as a resource for leaders in the London NHS Personal Wellness Zone there is a new section being developed, which will give access to Wellness Benefits Evaluators – an output from the Boorman Review; and WellKom’s ROI Calculator for Wellness Management and other such tools. Also to be investigated is the use of the balanced dashboard, including to see how it is possible to overlay this data against staff survey results and other reporting mechanisms to give us high quality and robust management information to inform our future wellbeing initiatives and identify hotspots for action.

Behavioural change principles
The wellness implementation pilot approach developed is based on an NHS London branded and tailored online Personal Wellness Zone (POWERING UP) which offers every employee an opportunity top open up a Personal Wellness Management Account. The design, ongoing development and implementation of this Zone is based on recognising these principles:

1. Employee led not expert led – so based on summary of employee wellness development activities and other information in the wellness profiling reports

2. Moving away from the traditional single solution wellness advice to integrated and holistic wellness mapping to enable the individual to understand the inter-relationships and interim steps perhaps required to help them achieve their desired wellness goal and the subsequent benefits this will bring to their personal and professional lives.
Learning options could include: skill sheets, mini e-learning modules, one-to-one wellness reviews/wellness coaching sessions – phone/face to face or web – externally or via own internal nationally accredited Personal Wellness Reviewers and Personal Wellness Coaches, pod casts of wellness development activities, group wellness workshops – by internal nationally accredited Wellness Champions or external experts, nationally recognised vocational wellness qualifications.

1. Extracts from Foreword by Ruth Carnall, chief executive NHS London Workforce for London a Strategic Framework.