Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

Exercise class

“It seemed like the right thing to do. We’re a hospital – where better to focus on health and wellbeing – and joining the BHF’s Health at Work programme was a  no-brainer”

Jennie spreads the word about what’s going on through emails and a bi-monthly newsletter that includes topical success stories the staff can relate to.

“I asked for quit smoking stories and had some terrifically inspirational replies. It’s within everybody’s power to make a change to their lifestyle, but everyone’s story is different, and the human factor’s crucial to involving and motivating people.”

Health checks have proved hugely popular, with over 280 staff attending to date, and some great successes, like the woman whose life may have been saved when she was found to have high carbon monoxide levels, which turned out to be because of a faulty boiler in her home. And Doreen, who thought her health was good, but discovered she had type 2 diabetes, which she’s now fighting successfully with medication and a better diet.

On the dietary front, a Spring into Summer health and wellbeing day, with a nutritionist demonstrating quick and healthy recipes was a special hit.

Physical activity’s increasing too. The Wednesday Walkers lunchtime group has been stepping out for five years now, and other walking groups are springing up all the time.

Lady on a blendavenda

“There’s a staff involvement group, and senior management are “amazingly encouraging. They’re happy to give staff time off whenever possible to attend health initiatives”. There’s also a charitable funding group, which provided funding for the employment assistance programme, which gives 24-hour access to counselling, legal, and financial advice. It’s received “fantastic feedback” from staff.

The scheme’s slowly but surely going for gold, and as Jennie says “organisations like ours are starting to realise a simple fact – a healthy staff member equals a healthier, happier patient.”

Read Doreen's full story

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