NHS to “practice what it preaches” and improve staff health
Monday, March 7th, 2016 | News
NHS England is set to revive its workforce with a £600m pot of funding to improve the health and wellbeing of its staff.
The funding will be available to all trusts that demonstrate they are initiating healthcare schemes for their frontline workers, such as nurses and healthcare assistants, from 1st April.
Such schemes can include mental health support, physical activities, physiotherapy, removing junk food promotions and increasing staff uptake of flu vaccines.
With the “sugar-tax” expected to be introduced in April 2017, Trusts will also be required to provide information of fast-food franchises, vending machines and retail outlets.
The initiative comes in a bid to help the NHS “practice what it preaches” and provide the resources and lifestyle choices it requests so many patients to fulfil.
With staff absence costing the NHS £2.4bn a year, it is also hoped the new scheme will help reduce these statistics and, possibly, even pay for itself.
Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens said: “A good place to start is by tackling the sources of sickness absence, including mental health and musculoskeletal injuries, while doing our bit to end the nations’ obesity epidemic by ditching junk food and sugary drinks in place of tasty, healthy and affordable alternatives.”
Figures show that around 25% of adults in England are currently obese, costing the NHS £5.1bn a year; demonstrating the dire need for further public and private sector business and industries to undertake similar initiatives to help improve the nation’s workforce’s health.
Once initiatives are adopted by the nation’s workforce, it is hoped many people will also strive to undertake personal responsibility for their care needs and fulfil a healthier lifestyle in their own personal lives.
If you are a nurse or healthcare assistant working for the NHS, will you be taking advantage of the new scheme if your Trust is eligible? Or will you be too busy working to see the benefits of it anyway?
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