An innovative service designed to reduce staff sickness and create a healthier workforce is in the running for a prestigious national award.
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is committed to improving staff health and wellbeing. When musculoskeletal disorders were found to be a key reason for occupational health referrals in the Trust, it was clear a solution was needed that would enable staff to be treated quickly and effectively, so they could continue providing NHS services to local people.
The fast track physiotherapy service, which began in August 2010, was set up to assess and treat injuries, prevent future ill health and reduce related sickness absence. Staff could access the service if they were experiencing musculoskeletal problems such as muscle strains, sprains or sciatica.
The initiative has been a runaway success and has now been shortlisted in the category of "Excellence in improving employee health and wellbeing" at the Healthcare People Management Association (HPMA) 2012 awards.
Dave Nolan, occupational health physiotherapist for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:
"Once the physio service was up and running there was no shortage of users, with 10% of our workforce accessing it within the first ten months.
"Not only does the service help to speed up recovery, but our team can suggest exercises and healthier ways of working too, to help prevent a recurrence of the problem – every bit as important as the initial treatment.
"The HPMA Excellence Awards are all about recognising outstanding work in human resources healthcare and our service epitomises this ethos. We are very proud to have been nominated."
Alan Davis, director of Human Resources for the Trust, said:
"Research continually shows that organisations which invest in the health and wellbeing of their staff reap both financial and performance benefits. This in turn has an impact on the experience of service users.
"When we evaluated the project, the figures were quite remarkable: absence for musculoskeletal issues reduced by a huge 38.6%. This represents a saving of £185,982 in five months and, most importantly, ensures that our staff are healthy and can continue to provide high quality services for local people.
"Being shortlisted for this award acknowledges the effort made by our skilled team to create a fit and healthy workforce which can then offer the best possible service to the people we care for."
The awards ceremony takes place on 28th June 2012.