Could businesses take the pressure off the NHS?

Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy

Health and wellbeing professional says employers are the answer to relieving the NHS crisis 

Businesses could be the key to relieving the NHS crisis, according to a UK health and wellbeing professional, which says corporate employers should take responsibility for their employee’s health and wellbeing.
Corporate health and wellbeing programmes need to look at the following, says Nikki Roy of Body Mechanics Remedial:
    • the immediate work environment – workstation set ups, appropriate tools and equipment, responsibilities and requirements within job roles
    • physical health – exercise, nutrition, relaxation
    • mental wellbeing – psychological, emotional and spiritual – something high on the agenda for the Government as highlighted by Theresa May
Roy also points to the following statistics:
  • Health & Safety Executive state that workplace injuries and illnesses in 2014/15 cost £14.1 billion
  • 41% or £8.8 million of which relates to musculoskeletal disorders 2015/16
  • 37% relates to stress (no financials given)
  • Equates to a £5 billion total economic cost for Great Britain 2015/16
Roy, whose Body Mechanics Remedial business was set up in 2012 to specifically address these issues and to offer comprehensive health and wellbeing programmes for the workplace, says her clients have found the following after using her on-site services:
  • 100% say it helps maintain their general health and well-being
  • 93% of staff attend regularly
  • 50% use the service to help manage stress
  • 22% use it for treatment of a specific injury
  • 87% say it helps their working performance
Roy says health and wellbeing programmes also have a positive financial outcome for employers: “For every £1 invested in an employee health and wellbeing programme, at least £4.17 can be expected as a benefit to cost ratio (BCR), according to a report carried out by Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP and commissioned by the Health Work Wellbeing Executive in 2008.
“With increasing evidence being presented around the costs of work related illnesses and injuries, to individuals, to the NHS, to businesses and to our economy, isn’t it time that employers took more responsibility for their employees and their work environment?

“According to HSE, 78% of injuries and illnesses are directly related to the workplace and therefore highlights the duty of care employers have towards their employees – yet are employers doing enough?

“In addition, the well documented cutbacks in NHS resources and funding, supported by a BBC report quoting that nine out of 10 hospitals are overloaded daily, strongly indicates that another approach needs to be taken towards healthcare; one that supports and compliments the NHS.

“In a recent article published by Employee Benefits, Jan Vickery, head of musculoskeletal services at AXA PPP Healthcare, strongly advocates the greater need for individuals and their employers to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing

“Research by AXA PPP Healthcare shows 73% of respondents have musculoskeletal issues, with 46% of them sitting down for four to six hours per day.”

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