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Queensway’s dedication to promoting the health and wellbeing of its staff has been recognised with the achievement of a Silver Better Health at Work Award.

Following significant investment into the scheme and achieving Bronze in 2017, Queensway have been awarded Silver after passing the assessment process which focuses on identifying health issues staff would like to focus on improving and then running subsequent health campaigns to address the most requested.

Initiatives introduced by the practice include offering employees free fruit on a daily basis, free exercise classes, personal branded water bottles to ensure employees are kept hydrated throughout the day as well as mindfulness sessions.

The clinic offers employees easy and healthy lunchtime recipe ideas following the creation of a ‘Queensway Recipe Book’ and its regularly updated ‘information stations’ in staff rooms provide resources for employees that focus on different campaigns each month such Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, Dry January and Time to Talk Day.

Five of Queensway’s selected health advocates have completed a mental health first aid awareness course which give them skills to recognises signs and techniques to share with colleagues if needed as well as training to ensure a better understanding of the local services available for domestic violence and suicide prevention.

A group of health advocates also recently completed Domestic Abuse Champions training and the practice linked with local charity Daisy Chain to offer oral health education to their support staff in return for autism awareness training for our team.

Colette Meek, HR manager and Queensway’s health advocate said: “We are delighted to have received the silver accreditation – the next level of Better Health at Work award. We have 120 members of staff at Queensway Dental and it’s my role to support each colleague to make healthy choices and ultimately improve their wellbeing which we are committed to do.

“During 2018 Queensway introduced a number of incentives to keep staff motivated and healthy including negotiating a part-funded rate for a local gym membership and arranging for a physiotherapist to come and speak to the team about posture and exercise for preventing back pain.

“So far in 2019, we have supported initiatives including launching a new policy during Cervical Cancer Awareness Week that meant staff will be paid for attending their routine screening appointments as we did not want work to be a barrier in doing so.  We also had a ‘pink’ day in the practice that raised £70 for Jo’s Trust.

“The evidence is clear; improving the health and wellbeing of healthcare staff can improve outcomes for our patients. But just as important as the evidence, is that it’s just the right thing to do – we want to treat our staff well and help them to be the best they can be. We won’t stop here either – there’s lots of new initiatives already planned for 2019 to encourage health and wellbeing and we hope our staff will get involved and support the campaigns as they have done so far.”

The North East Better Health at Work Awards is a partnership between 12 Local Authorities in the region, the Northern TUC and the NHS. It is opens to all employees from small to large enterprises and has four levels including Bronze, Silver, Gold and Continuing Excellence.