Jul 18

Putting health and wellbeing at the heart of quality adult social care services

Posted: 30 July 2018

This month we’re supporting adult social care employers to improve the health and wellbeing of people of their staff and the people who use your services.  

Diane Buddery, Project Manager on our ‘healthy workplaces’ project, looks at what this means for your organisation and how it can improve the lives of the people you work with.  

What do you think of when you hear the term ‘healthy workplaces’? 

Your immediate response might be to think of the traditional ‘health and safety’ practices, which are usually focused on minimising physical hazards. 

There’s no doubt that making sure we have safe workplaces is vital, but recently we’ve seen a shift in thinking so we also focus on individual’s all-round health, including their mental and physical wellbeing.  

For employers this means that as well as minimising risks there’s also a greater focus on health and wellbeing interventions. That might include looking at the environment and culture of your service, and how to better manage ill health in the workplace. 

These activities should relate to both people who use services and your staff, and getting it right can have a big impact including improving retention rates as well as supporting people to live the lives they want to. 

Improving the health and wellbeing of people who use your service 

The health and wellbeing of people who use your service should be your main focus. 

There’s been lots of research recently around how different activities, such as music therapy and physical activities, have a positive impact on people’s lives. Skills for Care's doing some work this year with activity coordinators to find out what learning and development they need to be able to do their jobs well. 

It seems obvious that making sure the people you work with are stimulated will improve their physical and mental wellbeing, so a good starting point might be thinking how your service does that and how you can improve your activities offer.

Later this month we’ll be sharing some great examples about different activities that have made a difference – so keep an eye out for some new ideas. 

Improving the health and wellbeing of your staff

In my experience I’ve found that the healthiest and happiest people are supported by equally healthy and happy staff. 

There’s plenty of evidence that shows that investing in the health and wellbeing of your staff has positive benefits on business measures including a decrease in sickness absence, staff turnover and claims, and an increase in productivity, and retention.

The good news is that we have lots of resources to help you do this and on Wednesday we'll be publishing our top five tips about making a happy workforce. 

For me, a greater focus on health and wellbeing is an ongoing way of thinking so next week we’re launching our updated ‘Developing a positive workplace culture’ toolkit. 

Workplace culture is the character and personality of your organisation and has a clear influence on how people behave and feel at work. Our toolkit explains more about what a positive workplace culture looks like, how it can benefit your business and how you can develop it in your organisation. Keep an eye out on our website for updates in the next few weeks. 

Looking after yourself

If you’re a leader or manager of an adult social care service then you’ll be used to supporting others – it’s a big part of your job, but we also know it can bring its own stresses and strains.

That means leaders and managers need to keep an eye on their own health and wellbeing. If people see you looking after yourself they’re much likely to be open about their own health and wellbeing needs.

If you’re a registered manager member of Skills for Care then you can buy our ‘Wellbeing for registered managers: a practical survival guide.’ Those networks also offer a chance for registered managers to talk their peers about how to stay well.

Healthy leaders are central to a healthy workplace, and to help with that next week we’ll be sharing a sneak peak into the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ for registered managers. 

Follow the campaign

I'm a great believer in sharing good practice we already know works so throughout August we'll be highlighting some of our tools that can help you.

We'll also have a series of guest blogs and stories that will help you improve health and wellbeing in your service. 

You can follow the campaign on Twitter using #happyworkplace or keep an eye on our website.