Published on: 7 April 2021

Occupational health team 1.jpgSouth Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust is celebrating after being recognised for its efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of its staff. 

The Trust, which has over 8,000 employees working across two acute hospitals, a specialist eye hospital and across communities in South Tyneside and Sunderland, was recognised with a Silver Better Health at Work Award.

Better Health at Work is a regional award scheme which recognises the efforts of employers in the North East and Cumbria in addressing health issues within the workplace.  

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust runs a number of campaigns and initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of its staff including; quit smoking , stress management and mental health support, healthy eating and weight management groups as well as fitness classes and challenges. 

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the impact that it has had on the mental health of staff, the Trust has also launched a Psychological Support Service. The service provides 24 hour support via telephone, as well as face to face sessions, team check-ins and mindfulness sessions. 

Kath Griffin, Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this Silver Better Health at Work Award. 

“The past year has been one of the toughest years for the Trust and our wider NHS, but despite the challenges of COVID-19, we have remained committed to ensuring that appropriate support is available to our staff through a comprehensive package of health and wellbeing resources.

“Our staff are the most important part of our organisation and now, more than ever, the way we look after them and how we develop our health and wellbeing offer in the future is of paramount importance. Our staff demonstrate their commitment to providing high quality care to our patients – and we are committed to looking after them.”

There are four levels to Better Health at Work Award Scheme, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Continuing Excellence which employers progress through. The Silver award builds upon the basics of the Bronze level and rewards organisations that take a more holistic view of the workplace.

The Trust is now working towards the Gold award which builds upon the Silver level and will require the Trust to look promote health within the wider community. 

Earlier this year the Trust cemented its commitment go further than ever before to help not only its staff, but also its patients to live healthy lives, both in and out of hospital and community settings. Following the launch of its new Health and Wellbeing strategy, the Trust will be putting a much greater focus on supporting people to make positive choices about their own health and wellbeing, such as stopping smoking, reducing their alcohol intake and healthy eating – all which help to prevent ill health in the first place.