Target audience: NHS Work Force Staff
Partners involved: Merseyside Sports Partnership(MSP), Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and The Walton centre NHS Foundation Trust.
NHS Trusts are one of the largest Merseyside employers with collectively over 35,000 staff, however their absenteeism rates are three times higher than in other sectors. This is adding strain to NHS organisations who have faced budget cuts and have staff working long shifts in high pressured environments.
Working together with 9 Trusts across Merseyside, MSP put together the #alltogetherfitterNHS campaign which included
• A Take your Trust to Rio step challenge
• A free programme of 16 sport and physical activity taster sessions
How did MSP use insight to create the project from nothing and obtain customer (partner) and consumer (participant) buy in?
MSP are an integral part of the regional NHS Health and Wellbeing network, through this network MSP used research and insight from the group members to create a bespoke pre-questionnaire, a total of 560 staff from across the Trusts responded, highlighting that only 25% of staff were meeting minimum physical activity levels. Data collected identified what types of physical activity and sport they currently do and would like to do more of. Based on the feedback from the 560 responses MSP mapped out current provision and latent demand to create the project going forward.
How do we know the project achieved and succeeded on our customer and consumer’s expectations?
Through the Take your Trust to Rio Challenge, over 1,000 staff signed up to the Work Place Challenge, of those 86% of staff taking part were inactive, 90% said that taking part inspired them to be more active and one trust reported 67% lower absenteeism.
Through the free programme of 16 sport and physical activity taster sessions, over 130 people took part, of those 71% of staff taking part were physically inactive, 73% reported improved activity levels, with 37% shifting from ‘inactive’ to ‘active’. 43% tried their activity for the first-time and 98% want to continue, 50% reported improved wellbeing totals and one trust reported 96% lower absenteeism.
This campaign also provided an active difference through the consultancy and expertise provided for all the trusts to meet their CQUIN targets and together submit a business case to lever further investment for staff to take part in physical activity.
What part did MSP play in creating this from nothing and bring partners together – in particular, how did we influence and co-ordinate the project?
MSP joined the regional NHS Health and Wellbeing network and brought new trust members to the table who had not previously being involved in the Health and Wellbeing of staff. By developing close working relationships and introducing new opportunities (resources, ideas, access to funding, examples of good practice) for all trusts to access, a collaborative approach joined all the trusts together and buy in to the #alltogetherfitterNHS campaign. MSP is now a regular member of the regional NHS Health and Wellbeing network allowing MSP to introduce new partners to work with the trusts and develop new and innovative ways of working.
How was this project innovative? What products were created? What makes it stand out?
This was the first joined up campaign between all trusts positively showcasing how collectively, this joined up approach saved time and resources and provided synergy for all those involved in an already high pressured working environment.
#alltogetherfitterNHS has demonstrated that a small investment of resources in workplace physical activity can yield cost savings in absenteeism and sustain wider outcomes that improve staff physical activity levels, morale, teamworking and performance at work. By -
- Organising mass participation Workplace Challenge campaigns – Take your Trust to Rio step challenge
- Developing initiatives to demonstrate attainment of CQUIN targets
- Pilot on-site sport and physical activity taster sessions – Physio department of Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, MSP delivered a taster day with 50 participants on how to sustain PA in the work place.
- Use technology to build in mini workouts into staff team meetings
- Bring exercise equipment into staff areas with high absenteeism – worked in work places where staff are unable to go and exercise due to the restraints of their environment (theatre departments)
How can we demonstrate sustainability and continued development - what tactics did we put into place?
By providing more opportunities for NHS staff to be active at work, including monitoring outcomes from piloting:
- The use of technology to start ward/department short workouts as part of regular team briefings/meetings
- Bringing exercise equipment into staff departments with high absenteeism (e.g. within theatre departments)
- Further activity challenges – Around the World in 80 days and developing bespoke challenges for trusts.
- Supporting Trusts to develop their health & wellbeing strategies to meet NHS England CQUIN targets – Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust developing bespoke packages based on specific needs of the trust.
- Building capacity and developing the North-West NHS Games in conjunction with the CSP’s in the North West.
- Putting together a ‘Case for Change’ proposal to lobby for further investment in to NHS staff physical activity programmes
- Establish sustainable staff-led walking and running groups – example - Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust MSP secured funding for 6 week running programme – couch to 5K, trained up 2 run leaders who now have 35 regular participants each week.
The impact this project had on the individual and group participants involved:
• Participant focus quote “NHS worker “–joined the step challenge It spurred us on to organise our own daily lunchtime walks, where we all went out together instead of eating our dinner at our desks. My team told me that it helped them to get active, reduce stress and improve teamworking – we’ve now started to go to the gym together too!
• Case study Community School Nurses -Liverpool Community Health
The team of 15-20 staff in Thornton rarely engaged in any physical activity and often didn’t have a chance to speak to each other as they were split into four separate rooms. The ‘Take your Trust to Rio’ challenge sparked an idea for one staff member, to get her colleagues together at 12.00pm every day for a short 10-15-minute walk. Not everyone was free every day to make it, so Jackie encouraged anyone that was free to come along instead of eating their dinner at their desk. Staff reported that their work was sometimes stressful, but going out for a walk allowed them to let off steam and speak to each other about how they were feeling, which helped to lift their mood and energy levels. Jackie found that it created a sense of community in the team, and everyone got involved no matter what their job title or pay grade. As the team went out in their uniform, they also received encouragement from the public who they used to see along their way, with Jackie saying that it made them feel great to be out and engaging with the communities that they serve.