First NHS audit of NICE's workplace guidance
The first national audit among NHS staff of NICE's public health guidance for the workplace is to begin later this month, the Royal College of Physicians has announced.
The audit was recommended by the Boorman Review, published last year, which called for staff health and wellbeing to be embedded in the core business of NHS organisations.
Many trusts have pockets of activity relating to staff health and wellbeing, but there is no overall picture of the situation across the board.
The audit will look to address this and will be carried out this summer and autumn by the Health and Work Development Unit (HWDU). It will involve all NHS trusts in England with an overall aim of improving health and wellbeing of all staff working for the health services.
Using an organisational audit methodology, trusts will be able to measure the extent, and quality, of their implementation of six pieces of NICE public health guidance relevant to the workplace. These are:
- Managing long-term sickness absence and incapacity for work
- Promoting physical activity in the workplace
- Promoting mental wellbeing through productive and healthy working conditions
- Workplace interventions to promote smoking cessation
- Obesity: guidance on the prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children
- Promoting and creating built or natural environments that encourage and support physical activity
All participating organisations will receive results of the audit in March 2011, enabling them to identify gaps and spot opportunities to develop their staff health and wellbeing strategies.
The audit will enable trusts to improve quality of care and patient safety through the reduction in sickness absence, as well as increasing productivity in line with the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) agenda.
Dr Siân Williams, Director of the Health and Work Development Unit, who was awarded one of the first NICE fellowships, said that evidence shows that healthy staff deliver better care to patients.
“The audit will help trusts improve their internal practices for keeping staff healthy and happy and also share best practice with others.”
Professor Peter Littlejohns, Clinical and Public Health Director at NICE, welcomed the announcement of the first national audit of NICE's public health guidance for the workplace.
“It will allow trusts to identify to what extent NICE guidance is being followed and will highlight any potential areas for improvements in the health and wellbeing of staff.
“Healthy employees also mean financial benefits for the NHS, through increased productivity, less sickness absence as well as greater staff retention.”
6 August 2010
This page was last updated: 15 November 2010