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Helping staff at ROH to Thrive at Work

“Committed to the wellbeing of staff” is how The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) was recently described when it was awarded a workplace wellbeing award.

The Trust was successful in gaining its Bronze accreditation from the Thrive at Work Workplace Wellbeing programme after submitting a plethora of evidence showing the support it has put in place to support staff and their health and wellbeing at work. Close to 200 staff were surveyed and a further 39 were interviewed to support the evidence submitted. Thrive at Work is a workplace commitment with criteria and guidelines on creating a workplace that promotes employee health and wellbeing, run by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Following the assessment, the Trust was awarded its accreditation for all categories. These were: Enablers of health, mental health, musculoskeletal and lifestyles.

A report produced by Thrive at Work found staff overwhelmingly highlighted that their managers care about their welfare and are supportive of any personal issues or concerns.

All staff surveyed and interviewed felt that the Trust takes positive action on the health and wellbeing if its employees and feel wellbeing is embedded into the Trust, many staff benefiting from the various health and wellbeing campaigns, events and supportive networks available.

Most staff interviewed said they found working at ROH a positive experience where there is a sense of belonging. They said they feel valued and that the size of the Trust gives it a “family feel” where staff know each other and would not walk past one another without saying ‘hello’ and giving a smile.

Black History Month celebrations, organised by the Multi Minority Ethnic Group (MMEG), one of the ROH staff networks, were highlighted with staff saying they had never experienced working at a trust where black history is championed the way it is at ROH. Things introduced for the month, such as an African Caribbean-themed menu and a staff book club, received much positive feedback and requests for continuation on a permanent basis.

A ‘wellbeing day’, given to all staff in addition to their annual leave entitlement, where they were encouraged to do something that makes them happy was called “one of ROH’s greatest successes”, especially as it was extended to the 300 ‘bank’ staff the Trust employs.

Other initiatives highlighted included mental health ‘first aiders’ and the Trust’s menopause support network which has, amongst other things, helped introduce lightweight uniforms to help staff struggling with menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes.

However, the report also pointed out areas for improvement. A plan to tackle some of the inconsistencies is already in place and will take on board all suggestions made by the report.

Laura Tilley Hood

Laura Tilley-Hood, Engagement and Wellbeing Officer at ROH (pictured above), was highlighted as having achieved “a tremendous amount.” On the award, she said: “This is a great achievement for ROH and was made possible by key colleagues who helped to support by providing evidence, completing the two surveys and attending interviews.
“It’s great to hear of some of the positive impact some of our health and wellbeing initiatives have had and we are now looking at the report to see where improvements can be made. Thank you again for everyone that was involved."

The Trust is now looking at how it can obtain its Silver accreditation and continue to support staff with their physical and mental health and wellbeing.