We recently spoke to over 100 senior NHS leaders who told us that the wellbeing of their teams is one of the top priorities in their organisation. Therefore, it is key to continually look for new and innovative solutions to improve the wellbeing of their staff. But what role can technology play in helping keep their staff mentally and physically fit?

This article takes a look at NHS staff wellbeing from the employer and employee perspectives. We also share some ideas which we think managers can employ to make an impact on people's health and wellbeing.

 

Prioritising NHS staff health and wellbeing through COVID-19

NHS staff member

In our research, which included over 100 NHS leaders, we discovered that 86% of the C-Suite said that this was top of their list, alongside managing their financial position.

Second to this was COVID-19 patient management with 81% citing this as a priority, with patient discharge and flow coming in third with 71%. Given recent pressures, this is a widely acknowledge challenge for many senior leaders. According to Stephen Jones, professional lead for mental health at the RCN, “Employers need to recognise signs of poor wellbeing in the workforce, and put measures in place to avoid burnout and “moral distress” among their staff."*

 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on NHS staff

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a number of challenges to the mental health of NHS staff, placing many under extreme stress. Healthcare workers have gone above and beyond to provide the best care for all patients, often putting their wellbeing at risk as such efforts led burnout to become a widespread reality.

This urgent need to address and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the workforce has fuelled the search for innovative solutions to support the NHS, from facilities management to new medical technologies.

 

How can staff wellbeing improve patient satisfaction?

Patient satisfaction can be significantly shaped by the health and wellbeing of the NHS workforce. [1]

Chronic workplace stress, high-levels of fatigue and feelings of negativism may lead to poor patient experience and reduced professional efficiency. Now more than ever, having happier and healthier staff is key to improve patient satisfaction and safety.

 

The number one topic commented on by NHS Staff

It's not just management who are thinking about health and wellbeing, it's one of the most talked about subjects by NHS teams.

With over 80,000 free text comments in the latest NHS Staff Survey, Health and Wellbeing prompts much conversation and opinion from this community. While 33.4% said their Trust definitely takes positive action on health & wellbeing (an increase of 4.1% since 2019) 44% reported feeling unwell as a result of work related stress in the last 12 months. This is an increase of 3.7% since 2019.

“Staff are going to be affected by this for a long time - not just during the acute crisis. Considering what changes need to be made at an organisational level is important. Not just looking at  issues from an individual level."

NHS Staff Survey 2020
National Free Text Commentary
Published May 2021

Download the infographic to get the key insights gathered from 100 NHS leaders.

Perspective from the frontline

Natalie Brayford is an Integrative Counsellor at the University Hospitals of North Midlands. Over the past year she has supported frontline keyworkers, supervisory and management employees to help them deal with the pressures of working through the COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke to Natalie to find out what more could be done to help teams with their health and wellbeing. Read the interview with Natalie to find out more

Read More

 

An innovative way to care for our carers

At Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury Sodexo’s personal assistance service, Circles, is helping pressured NHS staff to gain back valuable time and make a positive impact on their welfare. It’s also providing patients with a UK first for an NHS hospital – a dedicated Patient Concierge for its National Spinal Injuries Centre. Read the case study to find out more on how Circles is helping pressured NHS staff to gain back valuable time and make a positive impact on their welfare.

 

How has technology helped other organisations improve staff wellbeing?

Man with Computer

The CIPD identifies seven domains that contribute to a happy and engaged workforce

  • Health
  • Good work
  • Values / Principles
  • Collective / Social
  • Personal growth
  • Lifestyle
  • Financial wellbeing

Embedding a cohesive health and wellbeing strategy that addresses these areas is important to developing and maintaining great employee health and wellbeing. Using new technologies can be a great way to provide support to your teams.  Here are three ideas that we've recently taken inspiration from.

 

1. Focusing on their financial wellbeing

Financial wellbeing is an important factor in our mental health. When your people are stressed about money it can impact their every day, putting pressure on their work and personal life.

We found the LearnLux platform a really innovative way to get people more engaged with their finances, taking a positive and proactive approach to managing money.

Featuring lessons, digital tools, and expert guidance, LearnLux is a really modern way for employers to offer financial support to their teams

 

2. Delivering medical training in virtual reality

Take a look at the video from Fundamental VR Surgery, who use virtual reality theatres to learn, practise and teach.

At a time when in person sessions can be difficult to deliver, the ability to train your people in an immersive digital environment offers greater accessibility to clinical teams.

Likened to a flight simulator for surgeons, this technology is an interesting way to invest in training and development for staff in multiple locations.

 

3. Quantifying depression and anxiety through voice AI

In America, Ellipsis Health  have introduced machine learning technology that analyses sounds and words to detect depression and anxiety from a few minutes of patient speech.

The information and insights they create inform patient care, delivering better outcomes for people as their symptoms are identified and quantified earlier.  This digital, data led approach could help you better understand and support your team with their mental health.

 

 

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Disclaimer 

Sodexo aren't affiliated or associated with any of the organisations mentioned above.

[1] Source: Links between NHS staff experience and patient satisfaction

August 09, 2021