Welsh Ambulance Service is awarded Corporate Health Standard

Monday, 14 April, 2014

The Welsh Ambulance Service has been awarded the Corporate Health Standard for its commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of its workforce.

The Trust, which employs more than 3,000 people, was granted the bronze award following a rigorous two-day assessment last week.

The Corporate Health Standard, funded by Welsh Government and delivered by Public Health Wales, is the quality mark for workplace health and wellbeing in Wales.

It is presented in bronze, silver, gold and platinum categories to public, private and third sector organisations implementing practices to promote the health and wellbeing of their employees.  

Judith Hardisty, the Trust’s Executive Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, said: “I am delighted that the Trust has received this award, which is the result of a lot of hard work by the health and wellbeing group supported by the Board.

“As an organisation we are on a journey of transformation, and the health and wellbeing of our staff is important to the delivery of high-quality care.

“The bronze award is recognition of our progress on that journey, and we are now inspired to achieve the next level of award and embed the initiatives across the whole Trust.”

Last year the Trust launched its Wellbeing Support Service, which offers confidential information and advice on a wide range of health and wellbeing matters which may be causing staff concern or to be off work.

It was followed by the launch of the Occupational Health Service, an in-house service designed to prevent ill-health that is caused or exacerbated by work, and support staff with long-term conditions by helping them to stay in work or return to work after an illness.

Staff have access to a catalogue of things designed to improve their health and wellbeing, including smoking cessation courses, stress management workshops and ‘Explore and Walk’ courses designed to focus participants’ attention and awareness.

The Trust also offers free counselling, childcare vouchers, free eye testsand discounted gym membership in a bid to keep its staff happy and healthy.

Kay Myatt, the Trust’s Health, Wellbeing and Equalities Manager, added: “It is fantastic that we have received the bronze award as recognition of the progress the Trust has made on our health and wellbeing journey.”

Assessors visited the Trust’s regional office in Cwmbran and gathered verbal evidence across all departments, including HR, health and safety, operations and communications.

The following day, they visited the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) in Bridgend and Hawthorn Ambulance Station to view the facilities available to staff and speak to them about their experiences.

Carol Tunnah, Principal Workplace Practitioner at Public Health Wales, said: “It has been a real pleasure to support the Welsh Ambulance Service to achieve the Corporate Health Standard award.

“The organisation has worked tirelessly to implement changes that will make a real difference to the health, safety and wellbeing of its staff.

“The Trust joins an increasing number of organisations in Wales that are recognising the links between good work and good health.  

“We look forward to supporting them in the next phase of their journey.” 

The Corporate Health Standard follows another recent prestigious award win.

In December, the Trust was award ‘Exemplar Employer’ status by Chwarae Teg for its approach to flexible working.

The Evolve Exemplar Employer Scheme recognises Welsh organisations that go above and beyond legal compliance in the areas of equality and diversity to create flexible workplaces and equality of opportunity for all workers.

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