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Epsom and St Helier hospitals have been presented with a prestigious achievement award for their commitment to supporting staff at work and protecting the whole trust’s health and wellbeing.

The trust’s Occupational Health Team picked up the Achievement Award from the London Healthy Workplace Charter Programme at a special award ceremony at City Hall. It was presented to them by Professor Dame Carol Black, the Department of Health’s Expert Advisor on improving the welfare of working people.

The Healthy Workplace Charter is the first pan-London initiative that supports and recognises investment in staff health and wellbeing, and is backed by the Mayor of London.

Around 10 years ago the trust began offering an annual health and wellbeing event to employees. The event has evolved and grown over time, and a health and wellbeing group was set up four years ago to offer more activities to staff. Earlier this year, the trust was selected to join the Healthy NHS Workforce programme – a comprehensive initiative launched by NHS England to boost staff health and wellbeing. The wealth of activities and support classes on offer to the hospitals’ staff now includes a weekly walking group, free health checks for staff over 40, sleep management, support to stop smoking and stress management classes.

Kevin Croft, Director of People and Transformation, said: “As an organisation that needs to run smoothly 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we are absolutely dependent on the dedication and commitment of our 5,000 staff. We know just how important it is to recognise their hard work and to offer the right amount of support so that all of our team can get the most out of their working lives.

“We are delighted to win this award. The trust board is very much committed to the health and wellbeing of all of our staff and we have worked hard to embed our health and wellbeing programme throughout the organisation.”

Laura Rowe, Compliance Manager, took advantage of a recent programme to help staff who suffer from chronic pain. Laura said: “I have always loved running, but over the last couple of years, I have needed to take long periods without exercise due to my hips and knees. The programme has given me the confidence to pace my activities and work through flare ups. I am now running 5k again!”

Zahra Alexander, Head of Occupational Health, explained how the trust has developed the workforce programme. She said: “Last year we were asked to be one of the twelve pilot trusts for The Healthy Workplace project organised by NHS England.

“We now have a very well established programme in place that has had a wide range of offers for staff as well as welcoming contributions from varying specialities within the trust that make a valid contribution towards the health and wellbeing programme.

“Our staff can access services on our website and use apps at their own convenience and can access them in and out of work time. Staff survey results and reductions in absence levels are a good indicator that this makes a difference.”

If you are looking for a new opportunity and would like to join the Epsom and St Helier team, visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk /work-for-us.