Creating (and sustaining) a healthy workforce - is it possible?
Over two weeks in September, I hosted both a research conference at Bath Spa University and roundtable discussion event alongside the Social Workers Union (SWU) at The Mechanics Centre, Manchester. The two events are part of the culmination of Jermaine’s ESRC-funded research project: Co-Creating a Healthier NHS (grant ref: ES/R002983/1). Across both events we had over 150 attendees and talks from leading academics, Health and Social Care industry experts, and two MPs.
The aim of the conference Creating (and Sustaining) A Healthy Workforce was to spread examples of best practice and feasible techniques for employee wellbeing in Health (i.e. NHS) and Social Care organisations. I started the conference by leading a discussion of my ESRC-funded project, where I worked with both clinical and non-clinical employees in four NHS Trusts to develop a series of wellbeing interventions for these employees. The interventions, which have taken the form of a smartphone app and wellbeing toolkit, have been disseminated across all organisations.
The line up of world-leading speakers included Prof Andy McVicar (Anglia Ruskin University); Prof Neil Thompson (independent consultant); Dr Ruth Allen (Chief Executive of British Association of Social Work); John McGowan (General Secretary of Social Workers Union); Prof Roger Smith (University of Durham); Dr Cath Taylor (University of Surrey); Dr Elaine Wainwright (Bath Spa University); Geoff Ravalier (South London and Maudsley NHS Trust).
The event ended with a wine reception for attendees and speakers, in which the focus was on the development of the need for the next phase of research into improving the health and wellbeing of the Health and Social Care workforce. Myself, alongside speakers Dr Ruth Allen (BASW) and John McGowan (SWU), discussed how my recent work with the NHS workforce can be extended to the social work workforce. It was decided that alongside colleagues from the Universities of Greenwich and Bath, they would seek to develop a project proposal which will develop a series of national wellbeing interventions for social workers in the UK.
On Thursday 26th September, I worked with the Social Workers Union to run a pre-AGM fringe and roundtable event. Once again the event was excellently attended, and the list of leading talks from academics, doctors, social workers, and other experts was impressive. Following talks, a Q&A session was held with speakers.
Of particular note were talks by MP Emma Lewell-Buck and a recorded message by MP Rebecca Long-Bailey. Other talks included John McGowan (SWU), and representatives from the Royal College of General Practitioners and junior doctors. I was honoured to have been awarded a ‘Global Ambassador’ award from the Social Workers Union and the end of the conference.
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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