East of England Rewarded for Efforts to Improve Workplace Health
East of England Rewarded for Efforts to Improve Workplace Health

Public sector organisations across the East of England who have signed up to a pledge to protect the health of their employees have been rewarded at a conference to discuss the issue.

Organisations including, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Luton Borough Council and Thurrock Council, have all signed up to the Public Health Responsibility Deal, a programme designed to improve workplace health, and were given awards recognising their efforts during a major event to promote physical and mental wellbeing held in Suffolk last week.

Delegates from across the East gathered to hear from the Department of Health’s expert advisor Dame Carol Black at the event staged by the East of England Local Government Association and Public Health England.

The aim of the event was to provide a platform for debate on topics such as local government policy, reducing sickness absences, engaging with workforces and the link between employment and good health.

Work-related ill health was responsible for 27 million lost working days in 2012 across the UK, whilst statistics released recently show that workplace programmes aimed at keeping people healthy can increase job satisfaction and reduce staff turnover by 10-25%.

The Public Health Responsibility Deal is a scheme in which organisations pledge their commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of their employees. Launched in 2011, it aims to tap into the potential for businesses and other influential organisations to make a significant contribution to improving public health.

Organisations signing up to the Responsibility Deal commit to taking action voluntarily to improve public health through their responsibilities as employers.

Dame Carol said: “We are all living longer. Therefore extending working life and maximising healthy life as a proportion of total life is a desirable goal for individuals and society. We must all work together to achieve this goal.” 

Michelle Kirk, Director from the East of England Local Government Association added: “Working in conjunction with Public Health England, this event has enabled us to gather together Local Government and NHS representatives all in one place, and this resulted in some active debate and discussion on the public sector’s role in promoting the best approaches to creating a healthy and productive labour force.

“It was fantastic to hear from Dame Carol Black about what actions are being taken on a national scale and to recognise some of local organisations who are leading the field in terms of their commitment to workplace health. It was also useful to hear feedback from organisations in terms of the support they need from us to put programmes in place.”

We are all living longer. Therefore extending working life and maximising healthy life as a proportion of total life is a desirable goal for individuals and society. We must all work together to achieve this goal.

Dame Carol Black -