New blog: Opening job opportunities to people with a learning disability

NHS England, February 2016

The Director of the NHS Learning Disability Employment Programme has introduced a new series of blogs which aims to share perspectives on employing people with a learning disability in the NHS. Over the next few months NHS England will be posting blogs on a wide range of topics from employers, carers, and people with a learning disability who are employed in the NHS, with the aim of sharing best practice and helping others find solutions to employing people within their organisations.

Click here for further information.

Physical environments and employee wellbeing: topic overview

Public Health England, August 2015

This paper provides an overview of the literature on the impact of particular elements of the physical work environment on employee wellbeing including office layout, office furniture, workplace lighting and temperature, and employee control over their work environment.

Click here to read the full text paper.

Evaluating the evidence on employee engagement and its potential benefits to NHS staff: a narrative synthesis of the literature

National Institute for Health Research, June 2015

The objective of this study is to evaluate evidence and theories of employee engagement within the NHS and the general workforce to inform policy and practice. Four research questions focused on definitions and models of engagement; the evidence of links between engagement and staff morale and performance; approaches and interventions that have the greatest potential to create and embed high levels of engagement within the NHS; and the most useful tools and resources for NHS managers in order to improve engagement.

Click here to download the full text document.

Staff engagement: six building blocks for harnessing the creativity and enthusiasm of NHS staff

The King’s Fund, Feburary 2015

There is now an overwhelming body of evidence to show that engaged staff deliver better health care. Trusts with more engaged staff tend to have lower levels of patient mortality, make better use of resources, and have stronger financial performance and higher patient satisfaction, with more patients reporting that they were treated with dignity and respect.

This paper encourages boards and other leaders to focus on staff engagement and suggests a number of questions boards can ask to assess their organisation’s level of staff engagement.

Click here to view the full report.

Workplace interventions for reducing sitting at work

The Cochrane Library, 26 January 2015

The number of people working whilst seated at a desk keeps increasing worldwide. As sitting increases, occupational physical strain declines at the same time. This has contributed to increases in cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. Therefore, reducing and breaking up the time that people spend sitting while at work is important for health.

The objectives of this Cochrane Review are to evaluate the effects of workplace interventions to reduce sitting at work compared to no intervention or alternative interventions.

The study concludes that at present there is very low quality evidence that sit-stand desks can reduce sitting time at work, but the effects of policy changes and information and counselling are inconsistent. There is a need for high quality cluster-randomised trials to assess the effects of different types of interventions on objectively measured sitting time. There are many ongoing trials that might change these conclusions in the near future.

Click here to read the full paper.

Long working hours and alcohol use: systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies and unpublished individual participant data

BMJ, 13 January 2015

This study aims to quantify the association between long working hours and alcohol use through a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies and unpublished individual participant data.

Cross sectional analysis was based on 61 studies representing 333 693 participants from 14 countries. Prospective analysis was based on 20 studies representing 100 602 participants from nine countries. The pooled maximum adjusted odds ratio for the association between long working hours and alcohol use was 1.11 (95% confidence interval 1.05 to 1.18) in the cross sectional analysis of published and unpublished data. Odds ratio of new onset risky alcohol use was 1.12 (1.04 to 1.20) in the analysis of prospective published and unpublished data. In the 18 studies with individual participant data it was possible to assess the European Union Working Time Directive, which recommends an upper limit of 48 hours a week. Odds ratios of new onset risky alcohol use for those working 49-54 hours and ≥55 hours a week were 1.13 (1.02 to 1.26; adjusted difference in incidence 0.8 percentage points) and 1.12 (1.01 to 1.25; adjusted difference in incidence 0.7 percentage points), respectively, compared with working standard 35-40 hours (incidence of new onset risky alcohol use 6.2%). There was no difference in these associations between men and women or by age or socioeconomic groups, geographical regions, sample type (population based v occupational cohort), prevalence of risky alcohol use in the cohort, or sample attrition rate.

The study concludes that individuals whose working hours exceed standard recommendations are more likely to increase their alcohol use to levels that pose a health risk.

Click here to read the full text article.

Click here to also read the BMJ editorial on this research.

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