Public Health England’s National Engagement Lead for Police, Fire and Ambulance Services, Linda Hindle, shares her views on the importance of having a healthy workforce and what that means for the emergency services.
Access to good quality work is one of the most important issues affecting individual and population health. It provides an income, sense of purpose and social connections.
For an employer, having a healthy workforce reduces sickness absence and staff turnover as well as improving productivity; so health and wealth are inextricably linked.
People are an organisation’s greatest asset and this could not be truer of the emergency services.
1 in 3 of the general population has a long-term health condition and 42% of these employees feel that their condition affects their work. This is why workplace wellbeing initiatives are so important to promote physical and mental wellbeing of all staff as well as supporting those who have a health condition to remain productive at work.
There are several workplace wellbeing frameworks however the unique needs of emergency services staff are not fully addressed by them. Emergency services personnel are significantly more likely to experience traumatic situations at work and more likely to work shifts.
From a practical point of view the emergency services cover a large geography spanning more than one local accreditation scheme.
For these reasons Public Health England as pleased to work with the police to develop Oscar Kilo, a tailor made workplace wellbeing framework for the emergency services.
Whilst still early days for Oscar Kilo, it is already being widely adopted by police forces and recognised as a good practice example of a sector lead improvement in workplace wellbeing .
I look forward to continuing to work with the team as the framework is further embedded within the police and spread to other emergency services.
More about the author:
Linda Hindle is the Deputy Chief Allied Health Professional Officer; she works for Public Health England as Lead AHP and Public Health Engagement Lead for the Emergency Services. She is responsible for championing and supporting the contribution of the 14 Allied Health Professions, Fire, Ambulance and Police services to improving the public’s health across England, as well as supporting the national health and wellbeing programmes co-ordinated by Public Health England.
Linda is a co-founder of AHPs4PH, a social media community of practice for AHPs with an interest in public health, and an external examiner at Nottingham University. Linda has previously worked as a consultant dietitian as well as in commissioning and service management. She has experience of working in and with Local Authority, NHS, private sector, research and education organisations.
Follow Linda on twitter @hindlelinda