The HSE published Healthy Ireland in the Health Services Implementation plan 2015 – 2017. The plan identified 126 actions, focused around three priorities:
- Health Service Reform
- Reducing Chronic Diseases
- Staff Health and Wellbeing
The HSE Corporate Plan 2015-2017 outlines five goals, two of which include the need to promote personal health and wellbeing among staff to enable them to not only reach their own potential health and wellbeing but in so doing, be better able to promote the health and wellbeing of clients. “Our staff are our connection to those who use our services”.
To further support this the HSE People Strategy 2015-2018 commits to “Develop a Staff Health and Wellbeing Strategy to support staff in managing their own health and wellbeing”. The Department of Health, has committed to develop legislation to underpin a Healthy Workplace Framework which, in time, will make it mandatory for all public services to develop strategies and supports to improve employee health and wellbeing.
There is strong evidence that much can be done to improve the health and wellbeing status of employees. Workplace health programmes have been identified by the WHO as one of the ‘best buy’ options for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and for mental health and wellbeing.
Being the largest employer with a workforce in excess of 100,000 the Department of Health have tasked the HSE to become an exemplar by beginning the first public sector employer to address staff health and wellbeing as a key strategy in implementing Healthy Ireland.
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