5 Borough Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - Gold award

5 Borough Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (5BFT) has been awarded a gold accreditation for their health and well-being programmes operated throughout their organisation.

The organisation

5 Borough Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides treatment, support and guidance for people affected by mental ill health and learning disabilities.  The trust serves people living in the boroughs of Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan, and offers day care, in-patient care and community services. The trust recently merged with Knowsley Integrated Provider Services and now provides health and social care services to people of all ages living in the Borough of Knowsley.

What we did and why

As part of its organisational strategy and objectives, the trust wanted to have a positive impact on the physical and mental health and well-being of staff and decrease sickness absence rates.

Sickness absence was on the rise towards the end of 2010 and the trust felt that this challenge could really help to have a positive impact and allow them to engage with and support their staff.  The newly created Health and Well-being Board meets on a bi-monthly basis to discuss any ideas from members and their colleagues.  This helps to appreciate how the trust may need to tailor some of the initiatives for staff and provide them with the support they may need to take some positive steps to improve their physical health.

In order to support the trust’s health and well-being strategy and 2012 campaign, a range of different initiatives were rolled out to try and interact with and access as many members of staff as possible.  It was acknowledged from the beginning that if the trust wanted to try and get more people involved in physical activity, they would need to provide a wide range of different incentives and try to motivate people in various ways.

On a regular basis, the trust asks for feedback on the different schemes that have taken place, which then dictates what changes or alterations may need to be made. This has included constructive feedback about the classes and how they could make them more accessible.

How we did it

Monthly challenges

A monthly health and well-being challenge for staff focuses on either physical activity or eating a healthy and balanced diet.  For example, January’s topic was based on increasing the amount of water people consumed during the day, while February's challenge focused on exercises people could do to improve their core stability and abdominals.  The idea is to continue these for the month and staff can build a portfolio of the challenges they have completed and prove to themselves that these things can be incorporated into their daily routines.

Tapas of fitness

The trust provided a range of free taster fitness sessions that are currently touring the five boroughs of the trust.  Each month they run one free fitness class a week in one of the five boroughs and staff are invited to come along.  The trust selected a range of classes so that they cater for as many different people as possible and show staff how good it can feel to get involved in physical exercise.

Team 5BP

Team 5BP is made up of 13 volunteers who want to challenge themselves.  Some want to lose weight, others want to be involved in a team and some want support in keeping focused on their targets.  The team is made up of a cross section of staff including a director, assistant director, psychologist and nursing staff.  They keep each other regularly updated with their progress and meet on a six-weekly basis.  They have also been visited by a nutritionist to talk to them about food and their diets, a sports psychologist to help with motivation and overcoming barriers and they have all had one to one sessions with a personal trainer.

Virtual gym

The trust has signed up to a Virtual Gym, where staff can access a website which, on a daily basis, uploads a wide range of fitness classes provided by leading personal trainers from around the county.  Staff can log onto the website at home to download the classes onto their computer, to be played on their TV, laptops or smart phones.

Communication and engagement

Every month, healthy recipes are uploaded to the trust’s intranet for staff to take away. A number of online forums have also been created for staff to share local classes or teams that they are involved with, which others may wish to join.

The main incentive for a lot of the initiatives is that they are free.  It was felt that, certainly in the outset, the trust needed to make all of the schemes as easily accessible as possible, so the fitness classes have been taken to the nearest possible location (whether that be within the trust buildings, in a meeting room or at a local sports centre) and started straight from work.  Emails were also sent out the following day to all who attended asking for feedback and trying to motivate them and congratulate them on completing a tough class.

Results and next steps

The trust’s sickness absence rate has begun to fall since the introduction of the 2012 campaign and they feel that the campaign has certainly been a contributing factor.

Positive feedback has been received from the fitness classes, with many members of staff going out to join local gyms to do classes. One of the boroughs has been so impressed that they have managed to secure a permanent class there because the interest has been so high.

In general, some of the leads who have been involved in this campaign are now recognised around the trust as being part of the ‘fitness drive’.  This is proving that people are well aware of the scheme and have either taken part or at least work with someone who has, which we hope will motivate them do the same.  The trust realises that they cannot force everyone to get involved but if they keep drip feeding some of these things and offering as much as they can, it will stop being a campaign and just become a part of the trust.

The taster classes are continuing and will be touring the boroughs for a second time.  The trust has asked for 50 volunteers to wear a pedometer for two months, the participants will keep them updated with the distance travelled and a leader board will be published to see who the gold, silver and bronze ‘athletes’ are.

Contact details

Michael Roscoe

Business Transformation Facilitator
07921 084342