Improving work health for a healthy economy

New initiative launched to support small businesses in improving work health

Illness among working age people costs the UK economy £100 billion a year. About 330,000 every year become unemployed because of health-related issues.

However, workplace health and wellbeing programmes such as exercise, healthy eating and stop smoking support have been shown to make a real difference. Successful programmes such as these have been found to return £2 to £10 for every £1 spent, benefiting staff wellbeing and economic productivity.

Most big employers already have some plans in place that help to improve and protect their staff’s health but many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) do not currently benefit from such programmes.

PHE and Healthy Working Futures, a workplace health provider, has set out advice for SMEs, which account for 60% of private sector employment.

PHE has also created a series of guidance for employers on important issues, such as musculoskeletal (MSK) and mental health, impacting on employees with Business in the Community. Further advice is being developed covering issues including:

  • physical activity
  • diet and weight
  • drugs
  • alcohol
  • tobacco

Full press release at Public Health England

Advertisements

Better mental health: JSNA toolkit

This toolkit links mental health data, policy and knowledge to help planners understand needs within the local population and assess local services.

The guide accompanies the Mental Health and Wellbeing JSNA fingertips profile.

It includes short, bite-sized sections which help people to develop a picture of mental health needs in a local area. The guide begins with sections on understanding place and understanding people. These focus on understanding risk, wellbeing, prevention and community resilience in the local population.

Later sections cover the mental health care pathway, following a life course approach. These include the perinatal period, children and young people, working age adults and older people.

Each section follows a similar structure:

  • introduction to the topic
  • list of potential questions a JSNA may attempt to answer
  • overview of some relevant policy and guidance
  • list of available national data sources
  • ideas for sources of local data
  • links to relevant evidence and further information

Documents can be accessed via Public Health England

Improving the public’s mental health

Public Health England has published two resources looking at mental health promotion and prevention of mental ill-health

Stocktake of local mental health prevention planning arrangements is a high level summary of how local areas are currently incorporating mental health prevention in their planning processes.

The stocktake was undertaken by the Kings Fund on commission from Public Health England. The findings are based on analysis of key planning documents in 35 local areas. This included a random sample of 16 areas across England and 19 areas selected as possible examples of transferable effective practice.

Prevention concordat for better mental health: planning resource

This resource has been developed to help local areas put in place effective arrangements to promote good mental health and prevent mental health problems. It does so by offering a 5-part framework of focus for effective planning for better mental health.

It also highlights a range of actions and interventions that local areas can take to improve mental health and tailor their approach. This includes illustration through practice examples and links to further supporting resources. There is also a resource infographic available to download.

Tobacco Control Playbook

World Health Organization

Tobacco Control

Source: World Health Organization

The Tobacco Control Playbook has been developed by collecting numerous evidence-based arguments from different thematic areas, reflecting the challenges that tobacco control leaders have faced while implementing various articles of the WHO FCTC and highlighting arguments they have developed in order to counter and succeed against the tobacco industry.This is the start of what is intended to be a living document, which will be updated and extended with further arguments and on the basis of feedback, as well as any developments in tobacco industry approaches. Everyone concerned with tobacco control is invited to contribute to its success by continuing to offer arguments and responses, and sharing their experiences through a dedicated website.

Fresh thinking about the evidence needed for a healthier UK

The Health Foundation is working with Dr Harry Rutter from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to develop a new model of evidence that will inform public health research, policy and practice. 

barley-872000_1920

As part of this work Dr Rutter and co-authors from the Health Foundation have published a new Viewpoint paper – The need for a complex systems model of evidence for public health – in The Lancet, which outlines the need for new approaches to designing and evaluating population-level interventions to improve health.

Key points

  • We are faced with many big health challenges in our society. Their complex nature is an ongoing problem for public health research and policy.
  • Such challenges often involve multiple factors operating over many decades in systems that adapt as changes occur. For example, the distribution of obesity in a population might be impacted by changes to food, employment, transport or economic systems.
  • The traditional linear model of research is not suited to tackling these challenges. This is because it focuses largely on changes in individuals, not the population as a whole, and because it tends to look at isolated interventions rather than the contexts in which they take place.
  • There is growing recognition that we need a new evidence model that looks at public health problems, and our potential responses, in terms of a complex systems approach.

Full reference: Rutter, H. et al.  The need for a complex systems model of evidence for public health The Lancet, 13 June 2017

Related: Building a new system for the generation and use of public health evidence

 

Personalised letters and a “taster session” help double attendance at NHS stop smoking services

Gilbert H, Sutton S, Morris R, et al. Start2quit: a randomised clinical controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of using personal tailored risk information and taster sessions to increase the uptake of the Unstop Smoking Services. Health Technol Assess. 2017;21(3):1-206.

Attendance at NHS stop smoking services (SSS) almost doubled after smokers were sent letters showing their personalised risk of serious illness if they continued to smoke alongside invitations to try the service.

Less than 5% of smokers attend these services in England and numbers are on the decline, although this is one of the most effective ways of stopping smoking.

A personalised risk letter was sent to 2,636 smokers alongside an invitation to a local taster session. 17.4% attended, compared to 9.0% of 1,748 smokers who received a standard letter advertising the service. The letter and invitation to a taster session also increased the number who had quit smoking by six months (9% vs. 5.6%).

This proactive recruitment looked likely to be cost effective over a person’s lifetime compared to the usual non-specific invitation.

Those recruited represented only a small proportion of smokers wishing to quit and who may be more motivated than most. There remains a need across all of society to increase accessibility to stop smoking services.

Smoking cessation in secondary care: acute and maternity settings

Self-assessment framework for NHS acute trusts to develop local action to reduce smoking prevalence and the use of tobacco | Public health England

addict-84430_960_720.jpg

The self-assessment tool breaks down the NICE guidance into 4 areas:

  • systems required to implement the guidance
  • communication required
  • training that will help staff to successfully implement the recommendations
  • treatments that should be available to support staff and service users

This self-assessment tool supports all of the recommendations applicable to acute services in the NICE guidelines on Smoking cessation in secondary care.

Please save the self-assessment file to your computer and click ‘enable editing’ before using it.

Public Health England has also developed a suite of resources including a self-assessment tool to support the implementation of NICE guidance in mental health settings.

View the full framework here