Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was awarded bronze accreditation for its health and well-being programmes operated throughout the organisation.
Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a medium sized district general hospital working across two sites, St Peter's Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey and Ashford Hospital in Middlesex. It is the largest provider of acute hospital services in Surrey, serving a population of more than 380,000 people in the boroughs of Runnymede, Spelthorne, Woking and parts of Elmbridge, Hounslow, Surrey Heath and beyond.
What we did and why
The trust’s workforce and organisational development strategic objectives included ‘enable and support the workforce to create a learning organisation culture, embedding the 4Ps promotion the health and well-being of multidisciplinary teams and working across organisational boundaries.
A key initiative to achieve this included the ‘design and implementation of a health and well-being calendar of events’.
Through the development of the health and well-being calendar of events by the occupational health department, it was identified that an enabling activity was required to engage with staff while promoting exercise. In collaboration with Active Surrey, the options available were explored.
How we did it
Taking account available resources including both time and finance, it was suggested that an activity such as a pedometer challenge would allow staff to engage in an event where they could monitor the level of steps/exercise undertaken as part of their daily routines both at work and at home. Such an initiative would also not require any time away from their role other than to collect and return the pedometer.
The aim of the pedometer challenge was to help promote physical activity and to increase the level of exercise undertaken by staff within the trust.
Active Surrey provided the trust with 200 pedometers to make available for staff for a one week period. All 200 pedometers were utilised and on collecting the pedometer staff were asked to measure and record their individual steps over a one week period and where possible provide an update on a daily basis via the trust intranet. This allowed a league table format to be displayed highlighting the progress being made by those taking part as well as helping to encourage others.
The occupational health department also invited representatives from the local leisure centre (based within the trust’s geographical area) to present at the launch event highlighting local leisure facilities and further promoting physical activity.
Two walking routes were developed across both trust sites. This has provided staff with the opportunity to take short walks during lunch breaks and help increase their level of daily exercise. These routes have been widely promoted and are advertised via the trust intranet.
At the end of the pedometer week challenge the team collected the pedometers and those who were unable to upload their step count via the trust intranet provided their steps at this point.
Of the 200 staff who participated, 65 recorded their step count and achieved a total of 3,627,973 steps which equates to 1,819 miles, just over the distance from John O’Groat’s to Lands End and back again.
Active Surrey donated prizes of £25, £15 and £10 JJB Sports vouchers which staff could then use to buy sports equipment and/or clothes. These were presented to the three individuals with the most steps recorded.
The event and its results were promoted via the trust Aspire e-mail and paper communication bulletin.
Results and next steps
The occupational health department has developed partnership working with Active Surrey while also building on existing relationships with local leisure centres.
Staff response to the pedometer challenge was very positive with general feedback indicated the event had made staff think about increasing their exercise both at work and at home.
Staff suggestions for future health and well-being events are being considered with the trust events committee.
A Bike2Work scheme is available to all trust staff with the opportunity to utilise a salary sacrifice approach in joining the scheme. This is coordinated by the HR department while the trust has also improved the facilities available for those cycling to work. A new shower and changing facility is being made available to staff in the Autumn of 2011.
The pedometer challenge will be repeated though further work will also be undertaken with Active Surrey to build on its success and consider what other opportunities are available to help increase staff exercise.
Occupational Health Manager