By Lea Pachta

NHS Interim Review On Employee Health And Absence Levels Raises Wider Issues Around People Management In Public Services, says CIPD

Commenting on Dr Steve Boorman’s NHS Health and Wellbeing interim review, Ben Willmott, Senior Public Policy Adviser, Chartered Institute if Personnel and Development (CIPD), says:

““We are encouraged that Dr Steve Boorman has taken into account our findings in this year’s annual absence management report, which showed a large disparity in public and private sector levels. There is no doubt that a drive to improve health awareness and employee wellbeing across the NHS is a positive step to reducing absence levels and increasing productivity. However, it is important that Dr Steve Boorman’s interim report embraces how people are managed on a day to day basis by line managers and supervisors.

“There is no point in providing employees with subsidised gym membership or advice on healthy eating and exercise if they dread coming to work because they have received inadequate training, they are bullied by their manager or they are drowning under their workload. Employees who are under stress at work because of excessive workloads or long hours are also more likely to eat less healthily, take less exercise and smoke and drink more.

CIPD research shows that engaged employees who benefit from good quality line management and appropriate training and development and who feel they are trusted and treated fairly at work perform better, take less sick leave and are less likely to quit.

“One of the problems facing the NHS is that senior nurses, doctors and consultants are not given sufficient training in managing people. The CIPD believes that people management skills must be included as a critical element of the development of all professions involved in the delivery of public services. There are many great professionals in the public sector — great doctors, great nurses, great social workers and great teachers — but they’re not all natural born managers of people. Recognising this holds one of the keys to improving public service quality and productivity.”

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