East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s occupational health and wellbeing teams have won a regional award for the support they have offered colleagues during the coronavirus pandemic – and will now compete for the national title in this year’s NHS Parliamentary Awards.
The trust’s Health at Work and ‘How are you doing’ teams (pictured above in May) have been named as the east of England winners of the Wellbeing at Work Award – in recognition of their work supporting thousands of staff, including those at Hertford County Hospital, Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood and New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City.
The Health at Work team’s achievements include creating the People Hub to help answer questions from colleagues about COVID-19, provide clear toolkits and offer expert advice seven days a week on improving health, assessing risk, and promoting physical and mental wellbeing.
A digital tracker was also developed to monitor the number of colleagues self-isolating or shielding on a daily basis. This ensured that staff were well supported while at home, and offered advice to enable a safe return to the workplace where possible.
The multi-disciplinary ‘How are you doing’ team was set up within five days to provide frontline colleagues with emotional, psychological and leadership support, as well as being a driving force behind the Rest, Relax and Refuel area at the Lister – a dedicated, quiet space where staff can switch off.
The two teams were jointly nominated by North East Hertfordshire MP Sir Oliver Heald. In his nomination, Sir Oliver said: “Emotional and psychological support has been essential for frontline teams during the pandemic. The People Hub has helped staff tremendously and 6,500 staff deal with day-to-day issues more effectively now.”
Thomas Pounds, acting chief people officer at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “Looking after the health and wellbeing of our people is a top priority for the trust, and the pandemic has shown how we have been able to adapt to continue to provide vital support.
“I am immensely proud of the way that as a trust we have met this challenge, and this award is a reflection of the incredible work being done by both the Health at Work and ‘How are you doing’ teams. It means a lot to be nominated by Sir Oliver and receive this recognition, and is something we will treasure.”
As regional champions, the trust will now go head-to-head with other winners from across the country to be judged by a national panel made up of senior leaders representing staff and patients, for the chance to win the prestigious national award which will be presented at a special ceremony in the House of Commons on 7 July 2021.