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Health, Work and Well-being in Local Government
In 2005, the Government published 'Health, work and well-being: caring for our future', a strategy for the health and well-being of working age people. At the heart of this document was a commitment to invest in the health of people of working age to enable them to enjoy longer productive lives. This was followed by the appointment of Dame Carol Black as the first National Director of Health and Work. In this role, Dame Carol undertook a review of the health of working age people in the UK. LG Employers contributed evidence to this review, which was published in March 2008 as 'Working for a healthier tomorrow'. This was closely followed, in November 2008, by the Government's response which accepted all Dame Carol's recommendations: chief among them was the move from the sick note to the fit note, a change which came into being in April of this year.
A key theme running through both the review and the Government's response was the expectation by Government that the public sector would set an example to the wider economic community on health, work and well-being. As part of this process, Steve Boorman led a review of the health of NHS staff. Published in November 2009, the report makes direct links between the health of NHS staff and clinic outcomes for patients.
LG Employers recognised that local government would need to be making a significant contribution to the delivery of better health at work, and approached the Department of Health for funding to undertake a study of existing health and well-being work in councils. LG Employers is grateful to the Department of Health for supporting the project. The project looked at the existing literature, examined policy and processes which could be implemented to drive improved health and well-being within councils, and identified ten good practice case studies from councils across the three countries. The intention of the study and report is to demonstrate to authorities what can be done in terms of health and well-being, and the benefits that brings to council staff and service delivery.