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Evidence-based Wellbeing strategies for the Health and Social Care Workforce (NI): Informing Human Resource Strategy and Practice

In November 2023 we conducted a workshop examining the role of HR managers and advisors in ensuring appropriate design and implementation of wellbeing policy. This Impact initiative drew evidence from ‘The Health and Social Care Workforce Research Study’ which involved six cross-sectional online surveys designed to examine the experiences of the health and social care (HSC) workforce, UK-wide, during Covid-19 (including nurses, midwives, social workers, social-care workers, and Allied Health Professionals.

The impact study sought to examine the role and influence of HR Managers and Advisors as conduits of workforce wellbeing policy and practice. Specifically, we examine the role of HR managers and advisors in ensuring appropriate design and implementation of wellbeing policy, where there is alignment between what is intended by the policy design, and what is implemented in practice through various organisational constituents.

The workshop participants were in various HR roles advising line managers and the wider workforce about wellbeing-related issues and included representation from all HSC employers and service agencies, such as the Business Service Organisation.

The workshop aimed to;

·         Create a ‘rich picture’ of the HR role relating to, and the experiences of, the implementation of current wellbeing-related policies, practices and approaches used to support HSC workforce wellbeing.

·         Alongside HR practitioners, co-evaluate the research evidence accumulated from Health and Social Care workforce study and from recent internal organizational assessments of wellbeing approaches.

·         Collate and evaluate the sources of evidence to inform and ‘sense – check’ ongoing developments of the HSC Health and Wellbeing Policy Framework. 

The workshop was designed around 3 sessions and was anchored upon a set of scenarios that have been derived from the HSC Workforce Study Findings. The scenarios drew from the experiences depicted from the qualitative findings of the HSC Workforce Study and focused on the types of reported experiences around the core themes of Conditions, Communication, and Connection.  

There were seven tables of participants during the workshop, each table had between 3-6 participants and one facilitator. There was a range of workforce roles taking part in the workshop, this allowed a range of experience for the discussion.

The themes that we developed from the workshop were focused around four main headings.

1: Policies, Practices and Procedures

2: Structuring and Roles (resourcing)

3: Behaviours and Skills

4: Values and attitudes

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