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Health Work Wellbeing HSE Small Business Trade Association Forum, 9 th October 2007 Prof Dame Carol Black: National Director for Health and Work.

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Presentation on theme: "Health Work Wellbeing HSE Small Business Trade Association Forum, 9 th October 2007 Prof Dame Carol Black: National Director for Health and Work."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health Work Wellbeing HSE Small Business Trade Association Forum, 9 th October 2007 Prof Dame Carol Black: National Director for Health and Work

2 Health, Work and Well-being: Strategy aims to: –improve the health and productivity of the working age population –help people with health problems to enter, remain in and return to work –prevent people from falling out of work onto benefits We know that: –work is the best route out of poverty for individuals and their families –work is generally good for health and well-being * –the benefits of work outweigh the risks of work * –we need more people in work and working better to ensure a competitive economy and meet the challenges of an ageing population * Is work good for your health and well-being? Waddell and Burton, 2006

3 Weve made a good start since 2005 Unprecedented cross-government working Strong stakeholder interest and buy-in National Stakeholder Council established - focused on priority areas Coordinated range of initiatives, including: Need stronger focus on SMEs in these initiatives –NHS Plus initiative to improve occupational health services –Workplace Health Connect –Management standards for work-related stress –Business awards – Evidence review showing links between health and work – Initiatives to engage healthcare professionals – CSSB leadership on civil service sickness absence – Improving Access to Psychological Therapies

4 GP Health and work occupational physicians, occupational nurses employers ?relations with GPs ?relations with specialist ?Access to OH expertise Trade Unions Worker ? Would be workless Rehabilitation services Musculoskeletal services Colleague with expertise available in PCT Diagnostics Early Consultant referral Worklessness Numerous adverse consequences Sick note ? The challenge Health promotion at the workplace Mental health services

5 What do we need Prevention and early intervention are important It is clear that the longer the issue that puts someone at risk of leaving the workforce is left: –More difficult and more expensive the intervention –Les likelihood of return to work –Increased chance of additional health issues developing (esp. mental health)

6 The Importance of the health of the working age population When will the attention to and speed of treatment resemble that of heart disease or cancer?

7 Importance of early Intervention: Analogy… Diagnosis Sick Note Incapacity Benefit Secondary Liver Cancer Breast Cancer Risk of leaving work

8 BTs approach to stress and mental well-being Strategy components: Primary: reducing stress at source and making adjustments Secondary: identifying early signs of distress and supporting individuals Tertiary: assisting established cases cope and recover (Dr Paul Litchfield, CMO, BT)

9 BTs approach to stress and mental well-being - results On individuals (who completed survey): 68% learned something new about their MH 56% tried recommendations and were continuing to practice them 3 months after initiative started Of those who made changes, 51% noticed improvements in their mental well-being On company: MH sickness absence down 30% 75% of long-term sickness absentees return to own job Stress claims dramatically reduced Enhanced reputation with key customers (Dr Paul Litchfield, CMO, BT)

10 The challenge - SMEs Dont have same resource levels as larger companies Often more difficult to communicate with, either individually or as a group More information on the business case to invest in health is essential But… Small, low cost changes can make a big difference Keeping staff happy, healthy and at work is important

11 Incentives Reducing sickness absence will have benefits for: –Turnover –Business productivity –Continuity What are the biggest incentives for SMEs to invest? Interested to hear your views

12 Health, Work and Well-being in action – a Case Study (1) The aim Improve costly absence from work, leading to increased productivity Help to create a healthy and happy workforce Based in Alderley Edge in Cheshire, Chess plc is one of the North Wests fastest growing businesses delivering business telecom solutions. They were established in 1993 and now employ 107 people

13 Health, Work and Well-being in action – a Case Study (2) Measures taken The HR team are assessed on their management of sickness absence as part of their Key Performance Indicators. The team manage sickness absence through back to work interviews, self-certification forms and referring people to the company doctor Free bananas, apples, oranges and grapes to encourage healthy eating Staff are also provided with mineral water and the option of a bi-monthly massage Free flu jabs for all employees The Government Bike Scheme was implemented to help staff purchase a bike and encourage people cycle to work

14 Health, Work and Well-being in action – a Case Study (3) Success The average number of sick days per person is now 1.73 in a year, significantly less than the National Average of 3 days Since the introduction of free flu jabs the amount of sick leave taken for flu related illness has dropped from 0.97 days off to 0.44 days An innovative environment has lead to alternative health benefits within the workplace such as bi-monthly massages In a recent company survey, 87% of respondents rated their working environment as good

15 The Review Terms of reference for the review: To conduct a review of health related factors that influence working life in Great Britain and make recommendations Interested in looking at SMEs and those who work in them - what are the factors that make a difference to them?

16 How can SMEs help? Make the business case compelling Help develop the business case for investment in health Business benefits (efficiency and profitability) Spread best practice case studies – amongst SMEs and with HWWB Contribute to the Review – we want to hear your views. The Review will set the direction of HWWB for the next few years And let us know how we can help SMEs

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