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'Putting wellbeing at the heart of the hospital': An interview with our Wellbeing Officer

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) has an enviable reputation for providing the very best care to patients. The Trust consistently scores among the highest for patient satisfaction in the whole NHS. But this level of care is only possible when the wellbeing of the people offering the care is supported.

In 2019, following a Wellbeing awareness week that involved all staff members, ROH appointed its first Employee Engagement and Wellbeing Officer, a new role designed to promote staff wellbeing and to help the Trust achieve its ambition of becoming the 'Wellbeing Hospital'. Laura has been in the post since then and has played an important role in supporting the hospital during the pandemic - when wellbeing mattered most. We caught up with Laura and asked her a few questions about her role and what it means to care for people who care.

Laura Tilley Hood

Employee Engagement and Wellbeing Officer Laura (pictured above)

How would you describe what you do?
I’m the Trust Employee Engagement and Wellbeing Officer, which is a new role at ROH. It’s my job to support the wellbeing of staff. It’s a really varied role - one day I’ll be collecting for a local food bank, coordinating mindfulness sessions or supporting an inclusion initiative and the next day I could be supporting a staff member or team who need help. Essentially I’m here to help improve staff experience and make the ROH an even better place to work by helping our staff feel happier and healthier at work. I am also lucky that I work with team of regional colleagues from other Trusts which means we can share ideas and discuss best practice approaches. We are working towards achieving the Bronze Accreditation for Thrive at Work - this is a commitment with criteria and guidelines on creating a workplace that promotes employee health and wellbeing. I have been working with colleagues in different departments who have provided me with evidence to support this and we are extremely close to obtaining the Foundation Level which will then lead to the Bronze Award.      

What is wellbeing?
It’s a term that can mean lots of things, but for us it’s quite simple, wellbeing means bringing your authentic self to work and being as happy and healthy as possible. We always work with the five ways to wellbeing in mind; connect, be active, give, keep learning and take notice. 

How has your experience of the pandemic been?
It’s been a challenging year for all of us but it’s also been incredible to see how my colleagues responded and supported patients and each other. It’s been really busy at times, we delivered wellbeing packages to staff earlier in the year and we received generous donations for staff. There has been lots of support which we have put in place and signposting for staff to help them using the five ways to wellbeing. The wellbeing of our colleagues continues to be our priority as we beat this virus and move forward.

Do you enjoy what you do?
Yes, it’s an honour to work with so many amazing people and support their experience at work. The ROH is a fantastic hospital because of the people who work here and it’s great to be helping them to do what they do best!

If you are a member of staff and would like any further information on the support on offer both internally and externally, please visit the Wellbeing section of the staff intranet.