STEPPING OUT: A HAPPY HEALTHY STAFF INITIATIVE

Care staff step out for health

As part of a national campaign to support the workforce in the care industry, a care home group is handing out pedometers to every one of its 400-plus employees including those based at its Bristol home.

Springhill Care Group, which operates Riversway Nursing Home, Crews Hole Rd, Bristol, is handing the pedometers all of its staff to encourage them to take an interest in their fitness levels and understand how much exercise they are getting as they go about their working day.

In another step of its Caring Heroes initiative, the group – which also runs two homes in Lancashire along with a supported living service – will be encouraging staff to monitor how many steps they take while going about their jobs.

Staff at Riversway will be able to set personal goals and to track them over time, and data collected will also help the care group understand how it can better support its employees.

The company is already operating a range of activities including offering staff healthy menu cards detailing easy and affordable recipes, and providing fresh fruit to encourage healthy eating.

Recently the group also launched a programme where its homes will be visited by a registered nurse offering staff assistance and advice on a range of topics including stress and anxiety, blood pressure and weight.

The health and wellbeing drive comes following the launch of the wider national Caring Heroes campaign by the group, designed to put care staff in the public spotlight and raise awareness of the important job they do.

Jan Wilkins, general manager of Riversway Care Home in Bristol, said: “This is another commitment to the wellbeing of our staff, our most important resource.

“Many of our care staff walk significant distances every day as they go about their duties. We know it can be a physically demanding job and we are keen to learn more about the sorts of distances our staff are walking.

 “It’s a great way to also allow staff to set personal goals and track their progress as time goes on. The NHS for instance, launched a 10,000 step challenge which our staff can take part in if they wish.”

The Caring Heroes campaign has already received backing from MPs and Care England, with Springhill highlighting the work of its staff online and via social media.

To express support people are encouraged to tell their stories on Twitter using the hashtag #caringheroes.

Care Home NewsLydia Walker