The Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership says the opportunity to pitch to business leaders about the importance of workforce health and wellbeing at a major conference in the East Riding has been “invaluable”.
The Humber Business Day at Bridlington Spa – part of the wider Humber Business Week – was hosted by TV personality, Gyles Brandreth and featured keynote speakers including broadcaster Clare Balding CBE, Rachel Fellows, Chair of the Collaborative CEO at Bettys and Taylors Group and Keith Harris from Treble Group.
Health leaders used the “day of business networking, discovery and insight” to engage business representatives from across the Humber area and encourage employers to take a more active role in improving staff health and wellbeing.
In Yorkshire and Humber it’s estimated two per cent of working days are lost to staff sickness. Minor illness, back and joint pain and mental health are among the most common reasons behind staff absence, with those who smoke even more likely to become poorly.
The Partnership says it was “delighted” with the interest shown in Working Voices – a local NHS programme which aims to build relationships between the NHS, employers and employees so staff have greater access to opportunities to improve their health and wellbeing and have their say about local health services.
Dr James Crick, NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board’s (ICB) Clinical Place Director, said: “When we spoke to business leaders about staff health and wellbeing and the impact on workforce absences, it seemed to strike a chord. When there are high levels of staff absence it can really start having an impact on a company’s productivity.
“But for many business leaders I spoke to, it was more than just the numbers of working days lost to sickness – there seemed to be a consensus that staff are more than just assets and leaders want to use their influence to give people opportunities to make life changes that would have a positive impact in their lives away from work too.”
Sue Symington, chair of the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, added: “Supporting employees to have good health and wellbeing brings many benefits to a business including reduced sickness absence, a lower staff turnover, increased employee satisfaction, and improved productivity.
“It was a pleasure to meet so many business leaders from our region who were willing to engage with us at the Humber Business Day and I’m looking forward to seeing some fruitful partnerships emerge through the NHS Working Voices initiative as a result of our presence.”
Signing up to Working Voices gives local businesses a direct NHS contact who can help support employee health and wellbeing. This may include signposting to lifestyle services for delivery in the workplace such as:
- NHS Health Checks
- Emotional wellbeing, mindfulness, stress management, mental health first aid
- Support to become a ‘Mindful Employer’
- Access to smoking, drug, alcohol and weight management services
- Physical activity options
- Access to health campaign materials
Dr Crick added: “If you run a business and you are interested in Working Voices we’d like to come and talk to you about what you think would work best for your staff and for you as an employer. We will develop an activity plan tailored just for your business and you will then have a direct link into the NHS for future support.”