Cornwall’s NHS Foundation Trust works it – SUGAR SMART style

Earlier this year, the NHS Trust invested in their greatest asset – their 3000+ staff – by bringing in two new Staff Health and Wellbeing Leads.

Rachel Faulkner 2019

Rachel Faulkner 2019

Nine months in, Rachel Faulkner and Jess Harvey are embedding the importance of staff wellbeing by working in partnership with Cornwall’s Healthy Workplace programme which has been championing the SUGAR SMART campaign.

The SUGAR SMART campaign has been a great way to start the journey by engaging staff, start a conversation and help them to start to tackle issues such as dehydration. Staff wellbeing checks earlier this year revealed that 85% of staff were dehydrated, so the trust has launched many new initiatives, such as “Hydration Stations” on wards as well as offering all employees free water bottles. Urine colour charts have been provided to make staff more aware and key messages around the importance of drinking water, cutting out sugary drinks and having healthier snacks have all been well received.

Key messages on SUGAR SMART are distributed to all staff via the staff newsletter, staff wellbeing noticeboards, the wellbeing section on the intranet and their newly trained Health Champions. Teams around Cornwall have accessed Healthy Eating and Healthy Weight workshops, which has inspired them to think about having healthier options available at staff meetings, taking walking meetings, and shared healthy team lunches, and the feedback from staff has been really positive.

Last month, the trust held their first Staff Wellbeing conference, where, they were careful to lead by example and ensure the external caterers provided healthy foods with fresh fruit on all the tables, water stations throughout the venue and workshops throughout the day on the importance of healthy eating at work, healthy weight at work, free yoga sessions, stretch and flex sessions and lunchtime wellbeing walks.

To complement the SUGAR SMART campaign, the trust are delighted that they were successful with the NHS Healthy Weight Declaration pilot with Public Health England South West and hope this will help to improve the health and wellbeing of staff at the Trust by really making changes to the food they provide, the catering facilities, vending machines, training days and their public image.

To ensure this ambitious agenda doesn’t get lost, Rachel and Jess have identified board and senior leader champions such as Head of Organisational Development for Healthy Eating and the Head of HR for Physical Activity – which really helps to ensure commitment from the top level, help overcome barriers and, of course, lead by example with the overall aim of promoting and embedding a positive healthy workplace culture.

At the trust, we believe our staff are our greatest asset and if our staff are healthy, valued and feel supported, this will have a direct and positive impact on our patients who will be looked after better. We need happy and healthy staff, and we are delighted to follow the SUGAR SMART actions to enable us to really embed this into our workplace and help us achieve our goal of improving the health and wellbeing of our staff by providing healthier choices and ensure these become the easier choices too.

Rachel Faulkner, Staff Health & Wellbeing Lead

We are going to be championing SUGAR SMART workplaces throughout SUGAR SMART September, so sign up to our newsletter for more tips and tricks, and check out the #SugarSmartSeptember to join in the conversation.

SUGAR SMART is a campaign run by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. SUGAR SMART is one of the featured campaigns in the UK's Sustainable Food Cities Network.

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