Swansea Bay University Health Board in  partnership with NHS Wales Equality Leadership Group

Highly Commended - SFJ Awards Impact Award for Promoting Wellbeing

Swansea Bay University Health Board’s (SBUHB) Learning at Work Week supported its wellbeing objectives, alongside events organized by NHS Wales Equality Leadership Group as part of their Equality Week. The Equality Leadership Group (ELG) is an established network of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Managers, Officers, Specialists and Leads from within NHS Wales’s organisations whose aim is to provide an expert resource and advice on the promotion of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) across NHS Wales through shared objectives, collaboration and facilitation. Together, these two events resulted in a powerful collaboration to support current priorities and promote wellbeing.  
The Covid pandemic has created a huge need for wellbeing support for staff as well as the need to focus on equality and personal development for the workforce. The planning team focused on four keys aspects for the week – promotion and sharing knowledge for all staff; creating learning opportunities for all; introducing new wellbeing approaches in the workplace; and providing online and virtual learning so that all colleagues could engage with the learning on offer.  

To appeal to all colleagues locally, SBUHB and the ELG put on a wide and diverse range of sessions, and SBUHB promoted the timetable through its internal intranet and email.  Sessions were run at a variety of times to increase accessibility. The events were delivered online to allow more people to attend.   

The sessions organized by SBUHB included topics such as ‘Civility saves lives’, which looked at the importance of everyone being valued and respected for good teamwork.  Colleagues could find out more about the roles of Calon LGBT+ & Allies Network and the SBUHB’s Black and Asian Minority Ethnic Communities Staff Network and how to get involved. Staff could explore a range of development opportunities from partner colleges Neath Port Talbot Group and Gower College Swansea. The Board’s Career Development Team and Vocational Training Team ran ‘meet the team’ sessions so colleagues could find out more about careers and progression.  A ‘Managing through change’ workshop for managers and supervisors looked at change theory with an explicit focus on wellbeing and how this can be supported during change. A positive psychology session provided techniques to deal with challenges using a positive and optimistic frame of mind. Another workshop built on the work of Simon Sinek and invited colleagues to ask, ‘what is your why’, to explore why we do what we do, how we do it, and what next. Other practical workshops included ‘time management’ and a taster session on coaching.  

The sessions organized by the ELG gave colleagues insight and understanding about people’s experiences. Staff heard from colleagues with sensory loss and their experiences of working in the NHS. In a session on ‘Healthcare for those seeking sanctuary’, colleagues heard from an individual who shared and his experience of what happened to his family when they reached the UK. The roles of SBHUB’s staff networks were also promoted. A session on ‘Identity, othering and belonging’ explored how it feels if you can’t see yourself in the categories on a form and need to tick ‘other’, including the psychological impact and the risks ‘othering’ brings in a healthcare setting. The differences between learning disability and neurodiversity were discussed and colleagues learned about terminology and identified ways in which SBUHB can create a more inclusive workplace for staff, service users and families.   

As a result, the week raised awareness and understanding on a range of wellbeing issues and topics which colleagues can apply to their work and personal lives. Colleagues have been able to hear inspiring stories and about different scenarios from their co-workers and external speakers; and found out more about networks at work which they can join. The week has provided an opportunity for colleagues to invest time in learning for their personal development aligned to the organisation’s values.