Best wellbeing initiative
Growing Stronger Together
Rest, Reflect, Recover
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Working with the chief people officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the communications team was tasked with creating a campaign that supported the wellbeing of front-line staff, as they emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic, and stressed the importance of looking after themselves and each other.
The campaign was driven by evidence, such as the results of employee surveys, that revealed the impact of the pandemic on the physical, mental and psychological health of the hospital’s 11,000 staff.
Growing Stronger Together was developed in conjunction with experts in the hospital’s psychological medicines team. The programme, which was clearly badged to make it identifiable and recognisable to staff, offered a wide range of initiatives to tackle all aspects of health.
For example, the Spring programme offered wellbeing and mental health guidance to all staff, around the clock confidential free advice and counselling services, support for mental health concerns, support for physical health concerns, such as a dependence on alcohol, and spiritual support.
Many front-line staff do not have access to digital channels, so the hospital relied on posters in staff rooms on large wards, large digital screens, wallet-sized cards with key information and a new OUHStaffText service, to which more than 3,000 staff have signed up.
Internal influencers were also recruited to raise awareness of the programme. These included the chairs of the hospital’s staff networks, including those for BAME, LGBT+ and female staff; 250 Wellbeing Champions and colleagues, such as union reps.
By the time of the NHS Staff Survey 2021, there had been a 25 per cent increase in the number of employees feeling that the trust was taking positive action on staff health and wellbeing.
More than 700 staff visited Project Wingman, a wellbeing charity that supports front-line healthcare staff by operating a mobile lounge (bus) and providing preventative wellbeing training in December 2021. Around 1,100 attended a focused programme of virtual health and wellbeing sessions in July 2022; 87 per cent said they were likely to attend future events. And more than 3,000 staff undertook a ‘wellbeing MOT’, visiting Health Needs Assessment Kiosks which were on hospital sites from March to September 2022.
Almost all – 98 per cent – staff recommended to attend a ‘post traumatic growth’ team workshop did so.