Tailoring wellbeing strategy for the challenges of the NHS

Wellbeing Strategy

Creating an effective wellbeing strategy for any organisation is complex and challenging. 

There is no “one size fits all” model. 

Strategy needs to be tailored to the unique needs, structure and circumstances of the organisation. And be designed to deliver a tailored, personalised solution to meet the equally unique needs and circumstances of individuals at different levels of the business, operating in a variety of roles. 

Unique working environments require a creative approach to tailor wellbeing solutions. 

Our work with NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and Primary Care Trusts throughout the UK involves close partnership led collaboration with stakeholders inside the NHS to create highly effective wellbeing programmes for Primary Care Leaders at a wide range of different career stages.  

One of the things we find so rewarding about working with a purpose led organisation like the NHS is around finding creative solutions to complex challenges within what can truly be said to be a completely unique organisational environment. 

By definition there is no single “strategic model” for these approaches. But it can be helpful to reflect on some of these creative approaches to seek insights that can be relevant elsewhere. 

5 insights from our work with NHS Commissioning Groups and Primary Care Trusts 

  1. Align with what’s there. One coaching programme we have implemented has been designed very specifically to complement and become a part of the existing GP and Nurse Practice Fellowship Programme. The new to practice GPs and Nurses receive coaching sessions alongside their taught modules with shared themes. Combining personalised delivery with shared experience allows the coaching to reference and build upon their training journey whilst addressing individual needs and developing the leader’s ability to strengthen their own resilience and model this for others. 
  2. Move fast. Despite its size and scale (and contrary to any perceived reputation for bureaucratic slowness) Primary Care Trusts often need to move fast and deliver or adapt service delivery at speed. Much of our work within the NHS involves deploying new services quickly, measuring impact and then building and evolving the approach over time. 
  3. Protect the space. People working within the NHS are busy. And they are patient focused. It is very easy for initiatives to flounder because the instinct of managers, leaders and front line teams is to put patient care first. Whereas other training provision ended up being cancelled, the coaching sessions were “protected”, sending a powerful signal about their importance and helping employees to use their sessions to develop cross team working practices and more effective working methods. 
  4. Offer bite sized solutions. Time pressures on staff mean that desirable as a full suite of Transformational Coaching or wellbeing solutions might be, the realities of the job mean that this can often add to pressures on time rather than alleviate them. The expertise of our coaches, and their own experience working in the healthcare sector, allowed NHS teams to undertake a Transformational Coaching experience that was compressed and accelerated. 
  5. Personalise the experience. Just as personalisation is a vital thread of NHS service delivery, it’s also key to ensuring the effectiveness of wellbeing delivery. As well as ensuring all our coaches were experienced in the sector, the profiling element of our wellbeing provision ensured that we matched coaches to individuals in terms of demographics and Mental Fitness needs. 

Over and above all these insights the key drivers of effectively tailoring a wellbeing strategy to meet the needs of unique organisations like the NHS is the process of developing a deep understanding of the sector and working in close collaboration and partnership with the stakeholders shaping strategy, within the organisation.

Want to find out more about how coaching can help healthcare organisations?

Do you want to have a better understanding of wellbeing and the role it can play in personal and organisational performance in healthcare organisations? Do you want to learn how your own Mental Fitness can be the framework for understanding how you can develop greater self-awareness and grow in your own capability and resilience?

Or, if you play a role in your organisation’s wellbeing development and that of those who work with you and their Mental Fitness, we’d love to talk.


by | 29 Mar 2022

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