Work by one of the region’s largest NHS trusts to look after the health and wellbeing of its employees has received high praise.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the continuing excellence+ level of the Better Health at Work Award, a regional scheme recognising workplaces’ efforts to improve staff health and wellbeing.

Alongside staff, the report highlighted the commitments of the trust to the health and wellbeing of its patients and communities with the assessor saying it was ‘amazing to hear senior leaders talk so passionately about their contribution to, and stewardship of, the bigger picture with a firm resolve to lead by example’.

Kylie Murrell, who leads on staff wellbeing for the trust, said: “Being awarded the continuing excellence+ level is brilliant and is testament to the hard work of our teams who are dedicated to sustaining a healthy workplace.

“With over 10,000 members of staff working hard every day, looking after their physical, mental and social wellbeing is a priority for us – not only do we want to offer the right support at the right time when staff need it, we also want to provide the information and tools needed to support them to stay healthy and well.

“As we start the new year we will continue to engage staff in our health and wellbeing strategy and strive towards the next, and highest level, of the Better Health at Work Award.”

Judith Stonebridge, consultant in public health at the trust, added: “We know that having a happy and healthy workforce reflects positively on patient care however this also has an impact on our wider community.

“It forms part of our work to improve the health of our local population – if we can help our staff to make small changes that lead to healthier lifestyles, hopefully this can influence their family, friends, and others around them to take these steps too and help reduce the need for people to use our hospital and community services.”

The report also commended the trust’s responsiveness to staff’s needs and the “home grown” approach to training, skills and career progression.