Bedfordshire Police launches well-being staff programme

Bedfordshire Police service is launching a personalised well-being programme
for its staff, with the aim of cutting absence levels and ill-health
retirements, and improving productivity.

The scheme, the first of its kind in the UK, will address issues such as
work-life balance, the effect of shift work on sleep, nutrition and physical
activity.

Through health consultancy Vielife, the force’s 1,900 staff will receive
tailored advice through interactive online portals accessible from work or
home. They will also have access to seminars complementing the force’s current
range of health services.

Mark Cook, HR manager at Bedfordshire Police, said health is a major issue,
and it recognised the need for innovation in the health services it provided.

"We wanted something where the officers had freedom as to how they used
[the service] and had some personal responsibility for their own health,"
he said. "We weren’t doing enough for the 75-80 per cent of staff who are
not sick. We wanted to improve their health, and thus organisational
performance."

Cook said the Home Office was involved in the launch, and other forces
around the country had shown interest.

It has come at a time when the Government is realising the benefits of a
more proactive approach to health. The recent Wanless report recommended a
‘fully engaged’ scenario, with the Government, employers and individuals taking
responsibility.

By
Mike Berry

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