08th November 2018

Image: OHH Staff Retention and Wellbeing Employer of the Year winners 2018.Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Kingston upon Thames in Surrey has been named Our Health Heroes winner in the Staff Retention and Wellbeing Employer of the Year category for its outstanding commitment to staff welfare.

The awards celebrate the unsung healthcare heroes from across the UK, including those working in the NHS, who go above and beyond in their roles every day.

Organised by Skills for Health, the National Skills Academy for Health and headline sponsor Health Education England, the annual national awards – now in their third year – celebrate the unsung healthcare heroes from across the UK, including those working in the NHS, who go above and beyond in their roles every day.

Healthcare professionals submitted almost 500 nominations across seven award categories, including 20 in the Staff Retention and Wellbeing Employer of the Year category.

In 2016, the hospital’s Board of Trustees recognised the staff as their greatest resource and set about making staff wellbeing and retention a key corporative objective.

A dedicated committee was created to deliver the trust's health and wellbeing framework, which includes self-referral to physiotherapy and exercise classes as well as resilience and mindfulness training.

Financial guidance and family health advice are also readily available to staff as well as a programme of career progression and an appraisal system.

Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has also established an environment of support for talented administrative staff with ambitions to progress within the organisation.

As a result of a range of activities, including those listed above, in August the trust was rated 'outstanding' by the CQC in the Quality, Caring and Well Led categories – an improvement of two ratings in just two years.

Kelvin Cheatle, Director of Workforce at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s always great to get recognition for hard work but this award is special as it highlights the ground-breaking achievements of our staff with the support of the Health and Wellbeing and HR teams on our vital retention and the wellbeing agenda.

“Our workforce KPIs are among the best in London and this team played a fundamental role in the Trust’s Outstanding rating in our recent CQC inspection. I’m really delighted for the staff concerned who are totally deserving of this award.”

John Rogers, Chief Executive at Skills for Health, said: “For the third year running I’ve been taken aback by the quality of the nominations we have received for the Our Health Heroes awards.

“It’s great to see that employers like Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust are regularly going the extra mile to support the team in the long term.

“The judges had a difficult decision to make but I’m really pleased Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been chosen as this year’s winner; the award is a testament to the continued dedication to their team.

“I’m very much looking forward to meeting the team and our other award finalists in November and celebrating all of our winners.”

The shortlisting panel, who had the difficult task of choosing the winners in seven categories, included representatives from Skills for Health, the National Skills Academy for Health and headline sponsor Health Education England.

It also included category sponsors NHS England, NHS Improvement, UNISON and Health Education England – North, which is made up of the South Yorkshire Regional Excellence Centre, the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Excellence Centre and the Humber, Coast and Vale Excellence Centre.

Kirk Lower, National Lead for Apprenticeships and Widening Participation for Health Education England (HEE), said: “Support workers and apprentices are a key part of the healthcare workforce and, through our Talent for Care programme, HEE supports employers with their workforce supply.

“This is achieved via school engagement, volunteering, work experience, pre-employment activity, apprenticeships and access to higher education and the registered professions.

“As the main sponsor for Our Health Heroes 2018, we congratulate everyone who is on the shortlist; it is clear from the high standard of nominations that both apprentices and support workers continue to play a vital role in delivering safe and compassionate care for all.”

Ruth May, Executive Director of Nursing at NHS Improvement, said: “The NHS is powered by people and our workforce inspires us every day with their expertise, compassion and strength, often in challenging circumstances.

“It is our privilege to support NHS staff in their wellbeing, as part of our workforce and retention priorities, as we know that getting it right for our staff means we can get it right for patients.

“The nominations this year are a fantastic reflection of how NHS trusts are finding innovative ways to prioritise the wellbeing of their staff and support increased retention, with the finalists really going above and beyond to make a positive difference.”

Visit the Skills for Health website to cast your vote for the 2018 Our Health Heroes before the deadline on Thursday 8th November: www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/ohh-2018

The winners of the Integrated Team of the Year will be presented with their award, alongside the winners of the other six categories, during an award ceremony on Friday 23rd November 2018 at London’s OXO Tower.