Evidence Based Strategic Programme Health Essay

Published: 2021-07-10 11:00:05
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Category: Health and social care

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within the City Service Department at Cardiff Council
Published by:
Lauren Brown, Adam Hall,
Richard Presley and Oyinkansola Hassan
Introduction Strategy Statement. Page 3
Organisational Vision. Page 3, 4
Organisational Aims. Page 5
Back ground / Context. Page 5, 6
Impact of work-Related Ill-Health and the Cost of Sickness-Absence. Page 6
Presenteeism. Page 6
Health, Safety and Wellbeing Programmes. Page 6, 7
Responsibilities. Page 7
Responsibilities of Cardiff City Council. Page 8
Responsibilities of Senior Managers. Page 8
Responsibilities of Line Managers / Supervisors. Page 9
Responsibilities of the Employee. Page 10
Responsibilities of the Health and Wellbeing Programme Page 11, 12 and Action Groups – Terms of Reference.
Delivering Cardiff City Services Health, Safety and Wellbeing Programme. Page 13, 14
Prerequisites for Structuring & Embedding a Health, Safety and Wellbeing Programme. Page 14, 15
Key Performance Indicators. Page 15, 15 & 17
Policies and other Related Documents and Initiatives. Page 18
Discussion. Page 19
Health, Safety and Wellbeing Strategy
Health, Safety and wellbeing is now recognised as more than a matter for individual attention – many successful organisations-companies recognise that a healthier-motivated workforce is essential and more over fundamental to any good business. The health, safety and wellbeing of Cardiff City Services Department employees, significantly contribute to continuing organisational success. Significant and sustained high- levels of Sickness-absence have a detrimental effect on customer services and costs.
Cardiff City Services is dedicated to improving the health, Safety and Welfare of all its employees by preventing future ill-health through positive engagement and active communication-support initiatives. (Dame Carol Black, 2008) report" Working for a Healthier Tomorrow" outlines that "we all have a part to play in making ourselves and our wider communities healthier " and this is even more prevalent given the future budget constraints facing Cardiff City Council as a whole. The primary purpose of this strategy programme is to produce an innovate and proactive health, Safety and wellbeing policy, focusing on and encouraging "the whole person policy" by means of a physical-emotional and psychological wellbeing intervention stratagem.
As one of Cardiff’s largest local employers, the City Council has an opportunity to be an "exemplar of good practice" and should be seen as a role model in relation to the health, Safety and wellbeing of its employees as a whole.
The City Services Division is committed to being the employer of choice within Cardiff City Council, and recognises that an important aspect to achieving this is the promotion and maintenance of the physical -psychological health, Safety and wellbeing of its entire workforce.
Our vision is clear; to maintain and constantly deliver a quality service for the people of Cardiff; which puts employees and customer needs at the forefront. For us to achieve this vision, we need a highly skilled, positively motivated, engaged and healthy workforce.
Staff engagement combined with an effective health, safety and wellbeing policy is considered an extremely high-priority. This endeavour will be delivered in a positive environment where staff are proactively managed, valued for their contribution and are developed within available resources. This will be delivered by:
Implementing a management and staff engagement policy by means of a Joint Consultative Committee, (JCC). Bring together collaborative ideas on best practice methods.
Equipping managers, (training) to better manage staff, including Communication, (two-way dialog), suggestion box, providing monthly feedback survey attached to wage slips.
Ensuring existing occupational health and wellbeing service(s) are focussed not only on intervention but on prevention strategies.
Implementing a strong, management of sickness absence and attendance policy with the support of Human Resources, senior Managers.
Cardiff City Council must focus on building a reputation as an employer that really invests in the wellbeing of its employees, which in turn can attract and retain quality employees – thus reducing constant recruitment and further associated employment costs.
A prerequisite for any organisation, in terms of strategic aims, is to be recognised as a preferred employer of choice, not only by the local community but nationally. Positive investment in employee health, Safety and wellbeing will also have a positive financial spin-off within the City Services Department; healthier and happier employees are less likely prone to high-levels of sickness-absence, are more likely to be more productive, motivated, as a result of a proactive managerial approach.
Cardiff City Counicl has a duty of care to its employees, which is outlined in the (Health and Safety at Work Act etc., 1974) and (Management of Health and Safety ay Work Regulations, 1999) in providing suitable and sufficient opportunities to enable employees to maintain their health, Safety and wellbeing whilst at work. The aim-purpose of this Wellbeing-strategy is to set out how the City Services Department will manage employee’s health, Safety and wellbeing in the workplace and how it will measure and evaluate the success of its wellbeing-intervention programme(s).
(Dame Carol Black’s) review of the health of Britain’s working age population ("Working for a healthier tomorrow") "makes the point that; work can be good for health and that the workplace can have a key role in promoting the health and wellbeing of its employees". "However the environment in which one works can also lead to ill-health too".
Evidence suggests that the City Services environment can be inherently more challenging to health than other sectors within Cardiff City Council. And whilst health and safety control measures (Risk Assessment, Safe Systems of Work), may prevent exposure to many of the potential hazards, the City services environment is a highly pressurised environment; constantly under public scrutiny and the workload is considerable, and both physically and sometimes psychologically demanding. There is a growing consensus that there is a link between both physical and mental health and the impact on wellbeing. So it is unsurprising then that the three largest contributors to ill-health within the City Services Department are: musculoskeletal injuries, Stress-mental health problems along with back pain disorders. Local Government Association, (National) figures for council sickness absence levels average 9.6 days per year FTE, currently the City Services Department are running at: 21.24 per FTE.
Absence due to sickness has a significant impact on the City Services Department each year; (1649.96) hours were lost in addition to £76,558 lost in financial revenue. Invariable there is sometimes a hidden additional impact of sickness-absence to consider. The pressure(s) of additional costs; overtime to cover for absence, moral implications, employees who are rarely or seldom ill, having to deal with colleagues who are increasingly absent from work.
Employee’s added social-domestic interaction-pressure, families who may have to take the brunt of increased stressor(s) due to high levels of sickness-absence within the department. Conversely, increasing pressure on those employees who undertake additional duties during absence of colleagues; this in turn impacts the department’s ability to deliver essential services to the wider community.
Presenteeism, defined as coming to work and performing at less than full capacity as a result of ill health, is as much of an issue for the City Services Department as absenteeism and the costs of Presenteeism have a significant impact on productivity and efficiency. Presenteeism among staff with stress-mental health problems is thought to cost 1.5 times the amount of working time lost through absenteeism. A long working hours culture, having a senior role, working in a small unit, guilt about taking time off for ill health and fear of repercussions, especially for mental health problems all increase the likelihood of Presenteeism.
Health, Safety and wellbeing programmes in the Public Sector (Kent County Council) show that a proactive programme can significantly reduce the amount of sickness-absence leave taken and speed up return to work after illness. Healthy employees are three times more productive than those with poor health and the evidence suggest they are also likely to be safer employees too. Given the cost impact to the City Services Department and the potential impact of poor health on service quality, investing in a proactive health, safety and wellbeing programme(s) along with an adequately resourced service for preventing ill-health (Manager training, Occupational health intervention(s), HR support, employee engagement, efficient communication), managing ill-health promptly-concisely can save the department time-money and improve departmental service levels.
An employee’s workplace is a suitable-effective location to address the challenges of employee-wellbeing, when analysed the average person spends a one-third of their daily life in their working environment, and up to 40 years of their life at work. So the employee’s workplace environment offers the opportunity to educate (Occupational Health Advisor) and support employees to exercise more, smoke less, to target diet and to provide access to health and wellbeing services (annual medical screening, medical questionnaires, eye sight) to target those areas of high risk.
Cardiff City Services needs to adopt a greater emphasis-focus with regards to employee’s health-wellbeing over the coming years, if adopted NOW, and correctly implemented has the potential to deliver benefits for employees, their families, the wider community and the organisation through improved employee productivity, increased attendance levels and overall employee wellbeing.
Occupational health services (Internal) will have a key role not only in managing health issues in the workforce, e.g. employees who return to work after periods of sickness absence due to (stress, musculoskeletal-back pain disorders), but also in proactive prevention and health promotion. It is a fact that employers face the prospect of an aging workforce, as employee’s become older they can be more vulnerable-susceptible to long term conditions associated with aging, not only (stress, musculoskeletal-back pain disorders), other issues such as "diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and declining cognitive function". So it is essential that Occupational health departments monitor employee’s more closely in the future as well as the here and now, (survey questionnaire; medical screening; suitable roles-responsibilities).
It is essential that organisational workplace environments can either promote or undermine health and wellbeing depending on how work is organised-prioritised by resources and effectively managed. Proactive engagement, mutual development of positive relationships within an employee’s environment along with work with colleagues and management has a positive spin-off. Building trust, understanding individual needs, (training-development, seeking employee’s feedback), co-operation can forge positive relationships at all levels. However poor communication, lack of co-operation, lack of support, ambiguity of role clarity or departmental objectives can increase work related stress. However high-levels of job satisfaction, employee empowerment, recognition of key accomplishments can have a profound influence on an individual or groups of individuals.
This section provides an overview of the responsibilities the organisation, managers and supervisors and the individual has in relation to contribution to a productive health, safety and wellbeing programme:
(Health and Safety at Work Act etc., 1974) and (Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999) commits, Cardiff City Council by law, to provide support along with suitable & sufficient opportunities to enable all its employee’s to maintain their health, safety and wellbeing whilst at work. This can be promoted by:
The Development and implementation of effective sustainable-suitable policies and procedures.
By providing training and information along with guidance for managers and employees.
Providing access to occupational health and wellbeing and other advisory services, (HR, external impartial medical services when required).
Robust-accurate reporting on the status of employee-wellbeing, including performance, activities, initiatives and intervention opportunities.
Establish effective monitoring so as to be able to evaluate the efficacy-impact of health, safety and wellbeing programmes
Senior managers directly influence whether ‘positively or negatively’ the culture in the specific areas they are responsible for. Manager’s specific responsibilities must include:
Setting an example as a lead-role model by adopting and embracing the wellbeing-strategy
Promoting behaviours of others, contributing to positive employee wellbeing culture.
Ensuring effective two-way communication between management, employees particularly through organisational change.
Ensuring that bullying, harassment and any form of discrimination is not tolerated.
Working with managers, Human Resources; Occupational Health functions to initiate local wellbeing initiatives.
Line managers and supervisors have a responsibility to look after the health and wellbeing of their staff. This includes:
Setting an example as a role model by adopting and embracing the wellbeing-strategy.
Taking the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff seriously, listening and responding to their individual-collective needs and helping them alleviate, as far as reasonably practicable, workplace-social stressors.
Seek advice from HR professionals around the implementation of relevant policies, e.g. management of sickness absence, whilst ensuring effective measures are in place to monitor sickness absence, and have a thorough understanding of how to report sickness-absence.
Seek appropriate advice and support when dealing with complex employee health problems, (Stress, musculoskeletal).
Encourage employee’s with health problems to seek help through occupational health and wellbeing services, e.g. counselling, Rehabilitation, stress, smoking cessation etc.
Consideration of whether there may be an underlying-health problem when there is concern about an individual’s performance.
Ensuring that bullying, harassment or any form of discrimination is strictly not tolerated.
Promote behaviours contributing to positive employee wellbeing.
Promotion of the health, safety and wellbeing strategy, by actively supporting the wellbeing initiatives and activities, enabling reasonable access for employees.
Ensure employees’ are fully engaged-trained to discharge their duties correctly, efficiently.
Ensure employees are provided with the appropriate-suitable development opportunities.
Attend all relevant training as required, including management development succession training, mandatory (Sickness-absence) training and any health and safety training.
Ensure effective measures are in place to monitor and manage sickness absence effetely.
All staff have a responsibility to look after their own health and wellbeing. This includes:
Registering with a GP surgery.
Taking advantage of vaccination programmes for infectious diseases, (flu, tetanus and hepatitis).
Seeking advice promptly from your line manager/supervisor about your fitness to work when symptoms arise.
Seeking professional advice about ill-health, managing illness and accessing appropriate treatment, advice and support, (Internal Occ-Health, or external GP referral).
Not coming to work when ill, unless part of a managed recovery programme, (Occupational Health programme, "Presenteeism factors").
Taking advantage of the occupational and health and wellbeing services provided by Cardiff City Council, (advise-support function).
Taking advantage of health promotion and advice, guidance and information provided by Cardiff City Council, (Occupational Health, Human Resources department).
Attending mandatory training programmes as specified by City Services Department.
Sharing ideas with colleagues for promoting health, safety and wellbeing in their own environment.
Raising issues that affect their health, safety and wellbeing or that of their colleagues with their line manager, HR or member of the senior management team.
The Health, safety and wellbeing Action Group terms of reference commit Cardiff City Council to provide a forum for the development and implementation of suitable and sustainable health, safety and wellbeing across the organisation, (City Services Department) by promoting best practice with a tailored and consistent approach to the management of health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace:
"Name of Committee"
a. (City Services) Health, Safety & Wellbeing Action (Group or Committee), or as required.
"Purpose-objective of the Committee"
b. To provide a Management-employee forum for the development-implementation and review of practicable health, safety and wellbeing programme across the organisation, (City Services Department) sharing ideas of best practice with a consistent approach to the management of health, safety and wellbeing within the work-environment.
"Objectives and Key Tasks"
Define what health, safety and wellbeing priorities need addressing (City Services).
Definition of key role aspects, (various stakeholders) by establishing their role in the overall process.
Consideration of local-national best practice performance, informed guidance as to the implications of legal cases.
Positive promote of the health, safety and wellbeing programme across the City Services Department.
Provide a robust-effective communication strategy, for the introduction of policies, preventions, interventions and facilities approach-management.
Identify and build on existing good practice initiatives within the City Services Department.
Address any recommendations for action to address patterns-deficiencies in good practice, which may be contrary to an effective health, safety and wellbeing policy.
Advise on the provision of training and any development opportunities for managers-employees and integrate best practice into suitable learning activity.
Make recommendations for the development-review of performance standards (KPI’s) and mechanisms for monitoring health, safety and wellbeing at work at a divisional and an organisational level.
Champion health, safety and wellbeing within the City Services Department.
Promote health, safety and wellbeing specifically in regard to organisation restructure.
Membership will comprise champions from each section of the City Services Department.
"Frequency of Meetings"
To be agreed
Human Resources
Workplace Occupational Health
An agreed number of employee’s from each department.
"Reporting Arrangements"
The group will report in to (to be confirmed).
8. "Term of Group"
a. To be reviewed after 12 months.
The City Services Committee, chaired by (TBC) monitors activity. The health, safety and wellbeing project team, made up of representatives from Human Resources, occupational health department, and employee representation. The health, safety and wellbeing team drives the programme forward and are responsible for championing the health, safety and wellbeing programme, promoting and encouraging good practice in the areas in which they work.
The City Services Health, safety and wellbeing Action Plan is based on priorities identified through (Dame Carol Black, 2008) "Working for a Healthier Tomorrow", (Healthy Lives, Healthy People White Paper, 2010) as well as areas identified through organisational surveying of our employees. Organisational factors that promote wellbeing and how these factors need to be addressed are as follows:
"Physical health and wellbeing" Occupational Health Guidance benefits – "gym participation-exercise, weight management, smoking cessation, (promotion of physical and nutritional health").
"Mental and emotional wellbeing", Occupational Health Guidance – "promotion of fast track counselling services, stress management workshops, information-guidance for managers".
"Health promotion" Occupational Health Guidance-GP referrals – "health checks/assessments, linking to national campaigns (e.g. alcohol and drugs, change for life), Annual fitness assessments (Ageing workforce numbers)".
"Advice and signposting" – policy advice-awareness, communication, e.g. intranet, corporate induction (drawing attention to principles and policies)".
"Organisational wellbeing and people management" – leadership and management training so that managers are confident in supporting health, safety and wellbeing programmes, E.g. In managing change, workplace stressors – recognising that effective leadership is vital to building and sustaining an organisational culture where all employees can thrive".
"Economic wellbeing" – "promoting employee opportunities to save money; nominated person (monthly) for best idea, or recognition of employee contribution outstanding service (gift vouchers), feel-good factor".
HR/Health & Safety Management intervention – "identify trends in sickness and develop appropriate interventions, stress hotspots, employee survey, risk assessment (stress management workshops) involve the staff through the process".
This strategy supports the recommendations from (Dame Carol Black, 2008) "Working for a Healthier Tomorrow" study.
It is the intention of the Cardiff City Council to develop engagement mechanisms to identify other areas where the City Services Department can support the health, safety and wellbeing of its entire workforce making it accessible for all. Essential Aspects required:
"Strong effective leadership and representation at Executive and Board level" to push through a change in culture".
"Effective communication-updates from the wellbeing action committee".
Equal decision making opportunities-priorities in the direction of the Health, Safety and wellbeing Action Group".
"Ensuring all staff groups across within the City Services Department are represented, to drive health, safety and wellbeing through the division".
"Consult with employees - carrying out a survey across the entire workforce and review the findings as well as responses to the staff survey. Using the action groups to review the findings and act upon the key issues".
"Health, safety and wellbeing is part of the annual appraisal system of review".
City Services Department in con-junction with HR, Occupational Health, and the Health, Safety and wellbeing Action Group must priority must also deliver the following:
"Develop a system of early intervention to encourage early return to work for people who are off sick".
Empowering and enabling Employees to better understand and address their own health risks, (Occupational Health)".
"Establish an active communication forum highlighting safety information activities, and other related services".
"Reducing sickness absence levels".
(Dame Carol Black) outlines, "Experience shows that organisations which adopt a positive approach to improving health, safety and wellbeing across the organisation may achieve substantially reduced costs associated with":
"Reduction in overtime and agency usage".
"Staff turnover".
"Risk management".
"Employee and customer satisfaction".
"Improved productivity and performance".
"Benchmarking by other similar organisations".
(KPI) measures by which we will assess whether our interventions have been successful include:
Monitoring period/interval
Sickness absence
City Services Department
% of FTE lost overall and by medical cause (may also be broken down into staff category)
Month, Annually
Incidence of long term (>4 weeks) and short term sickness absence
We will use Kent Score to identify no. staff who score 0-4, 4–6 and 6-12
(this is a rolling figure)
Quarterly, Annually
Prevalence of zero sickness absence
Taking out leavers, we will see the number of staff with Kent score.
Incidence of ill-health retirement
Finance Dept
Number and per 1000 staff employed
Year, annual 5 year moving average
Staff turnover
Numbers of joining and leavers expressed as a % of average number of employees during measurement period (exclude redundancy)
Agency and temporary labour costs
Finance Dept
Numbers of shifts and cost of agency temps used to cover sickness
Monthly , Annually
"City Services Department will monitor the response rates in relations to questions on health, safety and wellbeing in staff surveys and produce corporate and divisional action plans on sharing the improvements and addressing the concerns these raise".
Disability from poor mental health/ Stress /Depression.
City Services Department
score and number and %
Perceived managerial interest in personal health, safety and wellbeing
staff survey
score and number and % of responders
Adequacy of adjustments at working for long-standing illness/disability
staff survey
score and number and % of responders
Job satisfaction
staff survey
score and number and % of responders
Enjoyment of work
staff survey
score and number and % of responders
Violence at work
staff survey
score and number and % of responders
Harassment at work
staff survey
score and number and % of responders
Metrics to monitor activities of our occupational health, safety and wellbeing programme:
Monitoring period/interval
Numbers of referrals from managers
Occupational Health records
Month, year
Numbers of self-referrals
Human Resources/Occ-Health records
Month, year
Numbers of telephone enquiries handled
Occupational Health records
Month, year
Number of workplace visits by managers
H&S records
Month, year
Number of health surveillance assessments made
Occupational Health records
Month, year
Numbers of training/lectures delivered
Human Resources records
Month, year
Number of counselling referrals
Human Resources/Occ-Health records
Month, year
"Cardiff City Council exercises a duty of care through the proposed strategy and through the following related policies, guidelines and initiatives (this list is not exhaustive)".
"Occupational Health and Wellbeing Policies".
"Bereavement guidance".
"Dignity and respect at work policy".
"Equal opportunities policy".
"Health and safety policy".
"Flexible working policy, (TBC)".
"Management of sickness absence and annual leave policy".
"Stress management policy and risk assessment".
"Whistleblowing and Raising Concerns in the Workplace (TBC)".
"Occupational counselling-referral policy, (TBC)".
"Stress management workshops, (TBC)".
"Leadership and management programme".
"Cycle to work scheme, (TBC)".
"Staff benefits and offers, (TBC)".
"Employee attitude survey".
"Health, safety and wellbeing survey".

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