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The role of universities in promoting healthy workplaces Judy Orme Professor of Public Health and Sustainability.

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Presentation on theme: "The role of universities in promoting healthy workplaces Judy Orme Professor of Public Health and Sustainability."— Presentation transcript:

1 The role of universities in promoting healthy workplaces Judy Orme Professor of Public Health and Sustainability

2 A Settings Approach Ottawa Charter (WHO, 1986) “Health is created and lived by people within the settings of their everyday life; where they learn, work, play and love.” Settings approach – starting point for health promotion programmes: “…shifting the focus from the deficit model of disease to the health potentials inherent in the social and institutional settings of everyday life”. (Kickbusch 1996)

3 Healthy settings approach A settings approach advocated since mid 80s. Socio- ecological model of health Dynamic complex systems Whole system thinking Examples – schools, universities, hospitals, sports stadia, workplace, cities.

4 Determinants of health and well-being Health Map - Barton, H. and Grant, M. downloadable under a creative commons licence from map/ccl.asp

5 5 Obesity – perhaps not quite so simple! – Foresight obesity causal map


7 Policy context ‘Working for a Healthier Tomorrow’ (Black, 2008) ‘Improving Health and Work’ - The Government’s Response (2008) ‘NHS Health and Well-Being Review’ (Boorman, 2009) This report found that NHS organisations that prioritise staff health and well- being performed better, in terms of quality, patient satisfaction, staff retention and sickness absence.

8 Working for a healthier tomorrow 3 principal objectives Prevention of illness and promotion of health and wellbeing Early intervention for those who develop a health condition An improvement in the health of those out of work

9 Public health & public health economics PH Outcomes Framework 2012 Mental health problems and Musculo- skeletal disorders are major causes of sickness absence Lifestyle behaviours – smoking + obesity 175 million working days lost to illness in 2006 Annual economic costs of working age ill- health estimated over £100 billion SROI type calculations e.g. £1 invested in workplace health brings a return of £3.50

10 Government response Creating new perspectives on health and work e.g.Fit note; GP education; Regional coordinators; Evidence base Improving work and workplaces e.g. NHS workforce review; OH helpline; National strategy for Mental health & employment Supporting people to work e.g. Fit for Work pilots

11 Active Workplace Initiative Rochdale Council 2006-10 YearAverage sick days per employeeCost of sickness absenceReduction in sickness costs 2006/07 11.3 £10.57 million N/A 2007/08 10.6 £9.91million £660 k 2008/09 10.0 £9.35 million £560 k 2009/10 9.4 £8.79 million £560 k Total £38.62 million £1.78 million

12 Employer benefit evidence Royal Mail – health & wellbeing initiatives British Gas – back care workshops Parcelforce – comprehensive wellbeing programme SMEs?

13 Developing Leadership and Governance for Healthy Universities 169 HEIs 2.4m students 370,000 staff

14 Wellbeing & engagement In UK HE sector: £270m cost of sickness absence per year 10% reduction in average sickness absence = £27m per year (e.g. £400K for Univ of Sheffield) If a 10% increase in performance is worth minimum of 5% of salary (£1,606 per employee) £600m potential financial gain per year( e.g.£9.6m per year to Univ Bristol)

15 7 Government indicators 1.Improving knowledge about the importance of work  health + health  work. 2. Improving the promotion of health & well-being 3.Reducing the incidence of work-related ill-health and injuries and their causes. 4.Reducing proportion of people out of work due to ill-health. 5. Improving self-reported health status 6.Improving access to health service support. 7.Improving business productivity



18 Public Health Responsibility Deal – Health@work pledges Occupational health standards Health and wellbeing reporting Chronic conditions guide Healthier staff restaurants

19 Higher Education Sector Project findings-health & wellbeing Projects: Leadership and Governance of Healthy Universities (HEFCE) Improving performance through wellbeing & engagement (HEFCE)

20 Healthy Universities “A Healthy University aspires to create a learning environment and organisational culture that enhances the health, well-being and sustainability of its community and enables people to achieve their full potential.”

21 Healthy Universities

22 Examples of Integrative Work Transport: sustainable transport policies are increasingly being developed and championed across higher education sector, contributing to action on climate change by reducing carbon emissions and helping tackle obesity and other chronic diseases by promoting physical activity. Food: ‘whole university’ healthy and sustainable food frameworks can also impact positively on health and carbon reduction, helping to address interconnected procurement, catering, retail, education, research and advocacy roles in an integrated way. Curriculum: universities can also embed health and sustainable development into their core business through means of curriculum development linked to research and knowledge exchange – with an emphasis on inter-disciplinary transformative learning. Orme and Dooris, 2010



25 National HEFCE funded project

26 Findings from UCEA project Better scores for workplace factors -higher levels of engagement -better psychological wellbeing -lower perceived stressors ….is significantly associated with better performance in NSS and RAE.

27 Business case for Wellbeing and Engagement in HE Comprehensive literature review Conclusion Promotion of employee wellbeing  increased commitment +job satisfaction; staff retention; improved productivity and performance; reduced staff absence

28 Initiatives with some impact Psychological contract Stress management- briefings, training programmes, promotion of physical activity (gym incl.) Resilience training for senior managers Employee communications Board level communications and engagement Training modules for middle managers – coping with major change; leading major change New sickness absence procedure + suppor t

29 Focus on the South West Strategic Healthy Workplace Alliance Bristol Workplace Health and Wellbeing

30 Workplace Wellbeing Charter Self assessment standards for businesses in England -Leadership -Attendance management -H&S requirements -Mental health and wellbeing -Smoking and tobacco-related ill-health -Physical activity -Healthy eating -Alcohol and substance abuse

31 Structure of Bristol economy ~ 17,500 employers in Bristol Organisations with 50 or fewer staff account for almost 50% of employees Large organisations (250+ employees) account for almost a third of all employees

32 Examples of good practice

33 Exemplar: Ginsters On average earnings are 25% below the UK national average. Ginsters is located in Callington, once a busy mining area, main industries now farming and tourism. Ginsters used to have a high staff turnover, high sickness absence, disengaged staff

34 Example of good practice: Ginsters Started July 2006. UWE project evaluation. On-site fitness suite: workplace coordinator Active workplace coordinator Health surgeries (alcohol, BP, BMI, diabetes) Around 15 regular physically-based activities Taster sessions (e.g. canoeing) New menus in Restaurant + free fruit for all staff Family and Community activities, e.g. allotments Reaching out to their suppliers and neighbouring small companies Integrated locality programme

35 Ginsters -continued Improvements in health and wellbeing Sustainable business One business Confident

36 Summary Role of university is very broad in terms of its contribution to workplace health Universities are major employers Perhaps the concept of a ‘healthy workplace’ needs to redefined during such difficult and challenging economic times A focus on both large and SMEs needs to be included

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