National School Categorisation System »This new system is not purely data-driven but also takes into account the leadership, teaching and learning that goes on in our schools.Learn more »
Action needed to tackle our growing waistlines- Chief Medical Officer
Dr Ruth Hussey outlines the steps the nation needs to take to address the population’s health problems
- Welsh Government funded Community Support Officers – one year on
- Extra £425m for the Welsh NHS in a ‘Priorities for Wales’ Budget 2015-16
- Action needed to tackle our growing waistlines- Chief Medical Officer
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- Consultation on Local Development Plans Process Review
- Implementing the Emissions Performance Standard: Monitoring and Enforcement Arrangements in England and Wales
- Collection and management of devolved taxes in Wales
- Reservoir Safety in Wales: Consultation on the Commencement of Schedule 4 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010
- Consultation on improving the availability of allotments and community gardens
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Featured consultation »Draft 10-year plan for the early years, childcare and play workforce
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Section highlightHousing (Wales) Act 2014The Act introduces significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2014 - 2015 »
Bills that the Welsh Government will bring forward in 2014/2015.Learn more »
Section highlightWales for Africa grant
The Wales for Africa grant supports projects that build mutually beneficial links between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa.
1st Supplementary Budget 2014-15 »
The 1st Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the Final Budget for 2014-15, which was published in December 2013.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Written Statement - NHS Wales Occupational Health Services
Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Health and Social Services
Together for Health, the five year vision for NHS Wales, recognises all NHS staff have a vital role in creating safe and effective care for the people of Wales and in shaping the future of our health services. Earlier this year, I launched Working Differently – Working Together, a strategic workforce and organisational development framework, to secure the right staff and to fully support and engage them in delivering excellent care. This includes promoting the health and wellbeing of staff through a range of work based initiatives.
There is good evidence of a link between staff health and wellbeing and the performance of health services, with good health and wellbeing of staff linked with improved patient safety, satisfaction and effectiveness of care. There is also clear evidence of a link between lifestyle factors and sickness absence. For example, smokers have been reported to have a higher chance of being absent from work than a non-smoker, and are off work for longer. There is, therefore, a compelling organisational and wider public health case for the NHS to lead by example, by improving the health and wellbeing of its staff.
There have been significant developments in improving health and wellbeing policies and services for NHS staff. Sickness absence has reduced, 6 of the 7 Local Health Boards and 1 of the 3 Trusts have achieved the Corporate Health Standard at Gold Level, our national quality mark for health and wellbeing in the workplace, and individual initiatives such as Cwm Taf Health Board’s Worksure Scheme, represent best employment practice. However, I recognise more needs to be done to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff, particularly those in primary care who have more limited access to occupational health services.
A group, chaired by Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, has reviewed the evidence on improving employee health and wellbeing and looked at the provision of occupational health services in NHS Wales. They identified variation in occupational health services between NHS organisations and further scope to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff, lower sickness absence rates and generate net returns from investing in such services. Recommendations included:
- Modernising the current approach to occupational health, equipping NHS services to meet contemporary health issues in the workplace with a focus on ill health prevention and health improvement;
- Optimising current occupational health capacity to make best use of limited specialist resources;
- Making better use of ICT and telephone support services;
- Improving support to health professionals and, in particular, primary care practitioners as there is evidence health professionals deal with their ill health and access support in a different way to the general population;
- Improving the profile of occupational health and making a career in this area more attractive.
- The occupational health services of the Local Health Boards and Trusts should, in future, work as a network to enable better management of existing resources;
- The remit of Local Health Board occupational health services should be extended to cover primary care. This would reflect the integrated primary/secondary care basis of Local Health Boards;
- A Health for Health Professionals service should be established with a staged introduction of provision from October 2012. This new clinician led confidential service, which would include referral out of area if necessary, would have a full year budget of £163,400;
- An NHS Wales Health, Work and Well-being Framework is to be developed, with clear indicators for Local Health Boards and Trusts to achieve. I expect Local Health Boards and Trusts would report annually on their progress against the Framework.
I have asked my officials to meet urgently with the Local Health Boards and Trusts to ensure planning for the new arrangements is put in place.