Leading by Example? Why the mental health and well-being of staff in Further Education is a leadership issue 1 February 2011. Improving the Health and Wellbeing of FE Staff. Dame Carol Black National Director for Health and Work. Why invest in the health and well-being of FE staff?.
Leading by Example? Why the mental health and well-being of staff in Further Education is a leadership issue
1 February 2011
Improving the Health and Wellbeing of FE Staff
Dame Carol Black
National Director for Health and Work
“The rewarding but difficult work of education can not be carried out well by people who are stressed and tired, but can be done well by staff with energy, commitment and a positive outlook.”- Well-being facilitator
All staff are role models for students and can demonstrate how to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle
Staff well-being may affect institutional performance (a study by Birkbeck College in partnership with Work Life Support (2007) suggests that there are links between average teacher well-being in schools and pupil performance – 8% of variation in SAT scores show significant correlation with staff well-being)
Improved health and well-being can reduce absence and improve retention of staff
… over 80% of staff felt that their health and well-being impacts upon patient care, and virtually none disagreed…
… yet only 40% think that their institution cares about their health and well-being.
… data correlation also showed some significant relationships…
The Boorman review
Source: RAND Europe
Healthy, engaged workforces
A new vision for health and work
A Review of the health of the working-age UK population, commissioned in 2007 by the Secretaries of State for Health and for Work and Pensions.
“At the heart of this Review is a recognition of, and a concern to remedy, the human, social and economic costs of impaired health and well-being in relation to working life in Britain.
The aim is … to identify the factors that stand in the way of good health and to elicit interventions, including changes in attitudes, behaviours and practices – as well as services – that can help overcome them.”
Working for a healthier tomorrow, 2008
a Healthier Tomorrow
Prevent illness, promote health, intervene early, improve the health of the workless.
Black Report, 2008
“If people are not healthy enough to work – or are inadequately supported through ill health to make a return to work possible – it is not just the individual or the business which is affected. The bottom line is often the impact on his or her family and children.”
Lane Lecture, University of Manchester, November 2007
Culture beliefs and attitudes – needing change
Lack of Primary Care involvement
Why are people off work?
“ The art of medicine remains the art of identifying the patient’s problem (which is something more than diagnosing the disease) .”
Sir Douglas Black – echoing Sir Robert Platt
Symptoms: 2/3 of cases
Symptoms not ‘diseases’:
anxiety, mild depression
Few investigations required
Diagnosed with relative ease
Intervention needs to be early, often non-medical, good vocational rehabilitation, regular contact between employee and employer.
Chronic conditions: 1/3 of cases
chronic rheumatic diseases
bipolar disorders, schizophrenia
Investigations more extensive
Diagnosis can be difficult
Treatment – good medicine, good flexible employers, plus rehabilitation
Reported rates of occupational stress, depression or anxiety are twice as high in the teaching profession than that for all other occupations.
A National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) survey found that 40% of teachers reported having visited their doctor with a stress-related problem in the previous year.
20% of teachers considered they drank too much and 15% believed they were alcoholics.
The National Union of Teachers reports that around half of teacher ill health retirements take place for stress / psychiatric illnesses.
GPs issued ‘sick note’
And yet, the workplace provides great potential for prevention & promotion
Advantages of the workplace:
The promotion of physical health and fitness, and the prevention of physical disease, are highly-desirable goals, often pursued by companies.
But the promotion of positive mental health and fitness is done by too few companies.
Physical health influences mental well-being.
Key features common to those organisations which have achieved success in promoting health and well-being:
Health and well-being need to be embedded in every aspect of an organisation’s structure and work
The standards define a desirable set of conditions to work towards:
All intended to help maximise health, wellbeing and productivity.
GPs share responsibility with employers:
These measures are to help people remain in work or return to work more quickly
Dr Rob Hampton, Clinical Lead
Convenient for patients
Helpful to GPs
Client: ‘Never gave up on me, helped with all problems.’
Commercial partnership between a large company and an NHS Trust.
Male-dominated environment with 7,500 employees.
Marketed programme around “well-being” and not “mental health”, to avoid latter’s stigma.
Mental Health First Aid courses to Managers, Shop Stewards and Apprentices.
Encouraged the men to open up and be more honest among themselves.
Saved £1.7 million of direct costs over 3 years
Sickness absence fell by 3 to 4%
social benefits: one employee’s partner approached a manager in a local supermarket to say the programme had improved her life too.
Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education has won many awards for employee health and well-being.
Our approach is determined by the desire to provide customers (students and others) with the best possible service. To achieve this, we need to employ excellent staff who perform each day to their best. If they are not at work, they cannot do this.
Health and wellbeing strategy aligned with:
Institute mission, values and business plans
key business processes
sport and activity
health and safety
Health and wellbeing team who work with other experts.
Speedy & supportive interventions to keep people at work or accelerate returns to work.
Helping other organisations understand the value of health and wellbeing.
Regular management training.
Extensive employee communication.
Measuring the impact.
Level of accidents at work dropped from 424 in 2004/05 to 253 in 2008/09
Quality of observed teaching has improved
Size of the organisation has grown (£17m in 2001 to £47m in 2010)
Financial health improved
‘Improving performance through wellbeing and engagement’ : a two year national project funded by HEFCE in partnership with Scotland and Wales to support institutions to enhance their performance through their people.
The project, led by the Universities of Leeds and Glasgow in partnership with the a number of Higher Education institutions, has so far engaged 60% of HE institutions.
Recourse (formerly CUSN – the College and University Support Network) is the charity established by Teacher Support Network, in partnership with UCU, to improve the well-being and effectiveness of all working in the adult, further and higher education sectors.
Daniel, 30, got his first post as a lecturer last year. He contacted Recourse as he was struggling with his workload.
Feeling anxious and pressured, his work had begun to adversely affect his sleep patterns and short-term memory.
Firstly, Recourse’s coach encouraged Daniel to seek medical advice. He then helped him to realise that he needed to learn to manage his workload more effectively and, most importantly, say no when things were getting on top of him.
Daniel’s state of mind had improved significantly by the end of the coaching programme and he had more confidence and better communication with his Head of Department.