This article presents a discussion of the key issues in influencing organisational change in NHS settings, in the development of workplace wellness interventions to improve employee health and wellbeing. To tackle poor public health and associated rising healthcare costs, there must be a focus on the root cause of many preventable diseases – unhealthy lifestyle choices. Workplace wellness initiatives are now an important prevention strategy adopted by socially responsible organisations to target the health and wellbeing of working age adults. Lessons learned from initiatives in secondary care suggest that effective implementation requires change in organisational ‘health culture’, through a combination of education, behaviour change intervention, needs-based facilities, and services and strategies for developing supportive and health-promoting work environments. Most of all, employers must demonstrate a commitment to health and wellness that is fully integrated with their mission, values and long-term vision, paving theway for sustainable lifestyle changes. Evaluation systems must be in place to measure the impact and outcomes of wellness schemes.
Holly Blake, Scott Lloyd