North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Best Practice at North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Invest in Yourself – Health and Wellbeing at NWAS

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust is committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of all employees and recognises the importance of maintaining and improving employees’ physical, mental and social wellbeing whilst at work.

It is further recognised that the support and opportunities provided by the Trust encourage and enable staff to lead healthy lives and make choices that support their health and wellbeing. 

It was evident that throughout the organisation, activity and promotions were taking place across the three regions, however, the Trust wanted to adopt a brand name to enable staff to easily identify health and wellbeing interventions promoted by the Trust.

By creating the NWAS health and wellbeing identity, we aimed to:-

  • Create a brand which is personal and focuses on individual accountability
  • Use the brand to showcase our focus on emotional, psychological and physical support
  • Create and improve different engagement methodologies with a consistent health and wellbeing message e.g) bespoke microsite, staff app and promotional materials
Ethos

The ethos of ‘Invest in Yourself’ (IIY) is to promote self-care and individual accountability alongside Trust support and guidance.

IIY Microsite

The dedicated website has been created for staff to share their stories and get tips and ideas to be Happy, Healthy and Fit.  The ‘Your Support’ page provides key information and guidance on peer support networks, TRiM, blue light champions and NHS guidance.

Podcasts

As an alternative method to reach staff, the Trust launched a suite of health and wellbeing podcasts which are located on the ‘Invest in Yourself’ microsite.  Podcasts themes have included:-

  • ‘Mindfulness & Peace of Mind’
  • ‘Mood Transformation Techniques’
  • Stress-less & Meditation for Beginners’
  • Switch off for sleep and deep relaxation techniques

Discounts and Staff Benefits

The microsite and the staff app has a discounts and benefits page where staff have access to the latest external offers and benefits provided by the Trust.  Some of the NWAS staff benefits are Cycle to Work, Childcare Vouchers, Home Electronics Scheme and car schemes (salary sacrifice and personal lease).

Initiatives

‘Invest in Yourself’ is complemented by three simple focus areas (happy, health, fit) which incorporate the physical, psychological and emotional aspects of health and wellbeing.  Ongoing NWAS Initiatives and interventions are implemented to support these facets of health and wellbeing.

Happy & Healthy

Invest in Yourself (Happy, Healthy, Fit) – EOC Programme

The Trust noted that staff who work within the Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) are under extreme pressures, exacerbated by rota patterns and often being restricted to the desk during working hours.  To try and target these specific needs, NWAS worked with an external provider to develop a 6 week programme that covers a range of interventions to improve stress resilience, raise awareness of the roles nutrition, sleep, and fitness play in supporting long term mental health. 

A programme was co-created which encompassed an array of support interventions which centred around a 6 step stress resilience programme focusing on individual needs.  The pivotal part of the programme was the opportunity to provide individual consultations specifically with a Nutritional Biochemist but also provide access to a team of experts including Psychologists, Clinical Hypnotherapist, CBT Therapist and even professional Chefs!

Whilst the face to face element was hugely effective, it was necessary to reach out to staff through webinars, social media, indirect trauma workshops, wellness zones and podcasts to gain maximum exposure.

One of the most innovative interventions was to invite chefs to the evening shift at the EOCs to perform live cooking demonstrations to entice staff to prepare healthy meals instead of opting for takeaway during the night shifts.

At the end of the programme, participants self-ranked their satisfaction levels:-

  • ENERGY – the average score was 6.9 which illustrated a 103% improvement in energy satisfaction
  • SLEEP – the average score was 7.7 which illustrated a 108% improvement in sleep satisfaction.
  • MOOD – the average score was 7.5 which illustrated a 92.% improvement in mood satisfaction

Peer Support

The Trust has an active peer support network ranging from Blue light champions and specific peer supporters within 111 and PTS.

Fruit

EOC and 111 staff have access to fruit to provide a healthy alternative to vending snacks.

Flu Prevention

NWAS supported the Flu Fighter campaign and increased their take up of the flu vaccine.

Health & Wellbeing Engagement – Regional Health and Wellbeing Events

The Trust has hosted and continues to host regional health and wellbeing events throughout the year.  The event consists of expert speakers presenting on topics linking in with our happy, healthy, fit ethos.  Information stalls are located around the venue for staff to visit during breaks such as MIND, TASC, Physiotherapists and key wellbeing specialists.

Fit 

Global Challenge and Kaido

The Trust has taken part in two fitness activities with Virgin Pulse Global Challenge and more recently, Kaido Wellbeing.  Over 300 employees took part in the Global Challenge and the programme was fully signed up to in less than a week. 

Statistics illustrates that those who took part in the Global challenge saw a 70% decrease in stress levels at home and at work and 63% increase in productivity and concentration.

The Trust has now embarked on 3 x step challenges with Kaido and staff also have access to an online portal for additional support.  Thus far, NWAS employees completed a massive 798,283 minutes of physical activity, logged 3744 meals and 26,624 hours of sleep on their journey to the North Pole.  As a group they took part in 436 Mini Challenges, designed to help staff think about the broader pillars of health and wellbeing.

Urban Walks

We all know walking is good for our wellbeing therefore the Trust has created a number of walks around key locations for staff to enjoy during break times.

NHS North West Games

NWAS actively encourages participation to the NHS North West Games.  NWAS sits on a steering group that support the planning, delivery and evaluation of events. 

Localised Approach

The Trust has implemented a localised approach to health and wellbeing whereby managers are responsible for creating health and wellbeing objectives by using local analytics and staff survey results.

Award-winning

NWAS recently won the hpma North West – ‘we look after our people category’ for the health and wellbeing programme designed for Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) staff. The programme involved a range of cohesive interventions to improve stress resilience and provide guidance on the role nutrition, sleep and fitness play on improving individual health and wellbeing. 

NWAS designed the programme with Manchester Stress Institute specialists ranging from nutritional biochemist, occupational stress and trauma psychology, neuro-science and sports psychologists.

Contact details for more information:

View the NWAS banner here.