Plymouth hospital trust launches staff assistance programme

Plymouth
Hospital’s NHS Trust has put in place an employee assistance programme for its
6,500 staff as part of an overall strategy to help achieve the health service’s
Improving Working Lives standard.

The
standard sets a model of good HR practice against which NHS employers and their
staff can measure their organisation’s HR management.

The
programme will also help the trust take a more proactive approach to managing
absence and reduce the costs associated with employing temporary replacements.

It
allows staff and their immediate household to consult a free and confidential
help line, offering legal and financial advice, and counselling and information
on consumer issues, child and dependant care and personal development.

The trust
will also receive regular updates from provider PPC Worldwide on the data
logged by operators to identify any trends in staff concerns early on.

Simon
Hill, head of staff health and welfare at the trust, sees the programme as
contributing to a proactive approach to employee well-being.

“We don’t
just want to pick up the pieces when everything goes wrong,” he said. “We want
to help people identify issues early, whether personal or work-related, and
help them deal with them before they start to have a negative effect on their
home or working lives.”

The trust
marketed the programme to employees by using staff and manager briefing
sessions, articles in internal newsletters and corporate briefings, e-mail,
posters, leafleting, and a personalised briefing note sent out with payslips.

Post-launch,
it is being reinforced in staff training, induction processes for new starters
and a further poster campaign.

By Mike
Berry

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