Implementing NICE public health guidance for the workplace 2011 – round 1

This report is a part of the first national audit that examines the implementation of six pieces of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) public health guidance relevant to the workplace, by NHS trusts in England. The public health guidance covers obesity, promoting physical activity, long-term sickness absence, promoting mental health and smoking cessation.

It supports trusts to improve staff health and wellbeing in areas which are known to be cost effective, contributing to increasing productivity and reducing costs.

Conclusions

We found that trusts that prioritised health and wellbeing at a high level within the organisation made more progress with implementation of the guidance than trusts that didn’t take staff health and wellbeing to board level.

We found variation across England. The results show that some trusts have successfully implemented many recommendations from the six sets of evidence-based guidance but also that more action can still be taken to improve the health and wellbeing of staff. This audit will enable trusts to identify and take the actions needed to achieve full implementation of the guidance.

Trusts need to optimise performance and productivity. It is essential that staff health is continually addressed by trust boards. Not only do staff costs account for 60% of the NHS budget but better staff health is associated with better outcomes for their patients.