Healthy workplaces platinum award Photo: KCH NHS Foundation Trust

A football team, a staff choir and community gardens are just some of the projects provided for colleagues by a Kent NHS trust, earning it a top workplace award.

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust’s innovative and creative approach to looking after staff health and wellbeing has now been rewarded with a platinum standard award in the Kent and Medway Healthy Workplaces Programme, the first NHS trust in Kent to be given the accolade. 

Mairead McCormick, Chief Executive at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), said: “The health and wellbeing of our colleagues is a priority for us and we are committed to supporting people to feel happy and healthy, at work and in their personal lives.

“This has led to some fantastic initiatives including the development of community gardens in our hospitals, a growing network of choir groups and our KCH FC football team.

Equity and diversity

“We are also proud to have five staff networks that champion equity and diversity for their members; supporting our goal to be a place where everyone can bring their full selves to work. In addition we have been working on ways to respond to the cost of living crisis and have introduced services to support the financial wellbeing of colleagues.

“We are really proud to achieve the platinum workplace wellbeing award and we will continue to work hard to create an environment that colleagues can be proud of.

Football team

”Richard Knott, a physiotherapy support worker for KCHFT, is part of the football team, which meets once a week for training and plays fixtures against other organisations as part of the Kent FA Community Cup. Richard said: “I had been off work after surgery. Being isolated at home you start to lose yourself, the things you love and enjoy, the motivation to get up and go. Coming back to football and the social aspect of it was huge for me, football is a part of my identity and without it life never feels as good.

”The healthy workplace programme’s report concluded KCHFT demonstrated clear and continuous improvement of its health and wellbeing offers, recognising the investment in additional mental health training to support colleagues, not only in their professional roles, but personal lives too.”

‘Great strides’

The assessors reported on the ‘great strides’ in its sustainability strategy which has seen the development of community gardens for colleagues and patients. The report commended KCHFT on its proactive approach in identifying financial wellbeing support through the introduction of the Wagestream financial wellbeing benefit, becoming accredited as a Real Living Wage Employer and providing discount awareness resources.

Other areas noted were KCHFT’s efforts to share best practice and demonstrate influence through partnership working, including inviting NHS colleagues at neighbouring NHS trusts to join the football team and choir.

By Ed

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