Presidents Blog - Network Issue 9

Dear Colleagues and Members

I hope you all had a good bank holiday weekend. We all work in a very busy industry which is both physically and emotionally demanding. It's really important then that we look after our people's health and wellbeing. One thing we can do is take proper breaks and plan our annual leave across the year. This is a simple and basic piece of good people management. It will help us plan our staffing, reduce temporary staffing and give better care to patients. It will also help our people keep well and work effectively. We are no good to anyone if we don't look after ourselves and our own people.

I reminded myself of this as I began to feel the effects of long busy work days and travel, and being inundated with messages of all sorts at all times of the day and week. Then there is fitting in the extra HPMA responsibilities! And of course there is personal life to manage such as family commitments, trying to sort arrangements for an ageing parent involving hospital stays, and moving house to name a few. While all of this is fulfilling, rewarding and necessary it still takes emotional energy and I really needed a break and time to myself.

I know this is no different to most people's lives these days so we must all take time out to rest and refuel our minds and bodies. A degree of challenge and stimulation is a positive stressor which spurs us on to give our best. But we must be careful that this doesn't become harmful pressure which is normally a result of not having enough rest. It's a key part of modern people management and encouraging organisations to provide opportunities to exercise with space, equipment or classes is essential.

Personally I love being able to take part in various sports and fitness. It is so vital to keeping fit and healthy and to have a clear mind. But an Achilles' tendon and ankle injury has meant I have struggled to find the mechanisms to get the 'let outs' and is very frustrating. After not getting timely advice or treatment I made matters worse by trying to run again. Lesson learnt! Thanks to my own Trust's OH department who run an excellent health and wellbeing programme I was seen by Sally, our senior physio, who has begun to get me back on track. It's not going to be a quick fix though and I'm not the greatest patient as I have little patience! Despite it still being painful and knowing I can't run I asked if I could cycle or swim. The answer was a firm no but I don’t like to be told no! I finally persuaded Sally that I could swim using a pull-buoy so I only use my arms. So guess what I've been doing every day of my break on the IOW this weekend?!

It made me wonder how many people being treated and working in the NHS do not take regular exercise. Just imagine the impact on people's health and wellbeing and performance at work if everyone did a little. A walk or little jog or anything that gets you moving about especially outside is all you need to get started. If it's in a green open space it will be even more beneficial as it calms the mind. It gets you some 'me' time and is so good for you to clear your thoughts as well as all the physical benefits.

So when you're thinking of your own performance, consider planning in some exercise and ways you can encourage the managers you serve to promote health and wellbeing to their teams.

Here's to a good, healthy and active week. I'd love to hear any of your stories about your personal fitness journeys, any exciting initiatives or where focus on health and wellbeing has had an impact on your people's work performance.

Health and Wellbeing is one of the categories in our annual awards which brings me to a quick reminder of the highlight of the HPMA year... our annual Excellence in HR awards. Don't forget to get your seat and share in the celebrations!

Welcome to the June edition of the HPMA membership newsletter.

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