by Dr Andrew Fraser, Director NHS Health Scotland
There is mounting evidence that ‘Good Work’ is a fundamental driver of good health – that includes cancer prevention. Employees who feel they have control over the circumstances of their work, who feel they are contributing and get a sense of fulfilment, will be healthier and more likely to make positive adjustments to their lives. Those in lower paid occupational groups are less likely to be in ‘Good Work’.
There have been recent moves to create smoke-free NHS grounds, tackle the obesogenic environment that hospitals may be, and to get people more active, but what does this mean to colleagues?
Have we ever considered applying this evidence to our staff, our teams and, in particular, those we line manage? How much of an effect could that have on sickness absence, morale at work, and role modelling for patients or users who we meet through our work at teachable moments? The Health Promoting Health Service programme is turning its attention increasingly to the matter of staff health. ‘Good Work’ is cost saving and life-saving; longer-term benefits include cancer prevention for staff, and that effect is likely to rub off on patients and service users.