Staff work towards healthier lifestyles

NHS workplace health initiative measures up for employees at Draeger in Blyth. Right to left: Karen Tate, workplace health improvement specialist, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Angus Donaldson, approvals engineer, Draeger Safety UK Limited in Blyth.
NHS workplace health initiative measures up for employees at Draeger in Blyth. Right to left: Karen Tate, workplace health improvement specialist, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Angus Donaldson, approvals engineer, Draeger Safety UK Limited in Blyth.
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HEALTH chiefs are calling on south east Northumberland’s bosses to sign up for an initiative intended to help them keep their workers fit and well.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is offering free support to help companies improve their employees’ health at work.

The initiative aims to help staff get healthier with the knock-on benefits for employers such as a reduction in sick days and less time lost to cigarette breaks.

Karen Tate, workplace health improvement specialist at the trust, said: “There are so many ways in which individuals can improve their health as part of their day-to-day job.

“Most spend around 60 per cent of their life at work and are likely to have more success in improving their health if it is part of their life at work.

“Benefits of workplace health include reducing absence and helping people who have been ill return to work.”

Blyth manufacturing company Draeger Safety UK, one of the region’s largest employers, is among the firms to have benefited from the programme.

It has been involved in it since 2010, earning a silver award in October and now going for gold.

Managing director Mike Norris said: “In addition to smoking-cessation clinics and bike-to-work schemes, we have introduced initiatives such as annual free flu jabs and more widespread healthy eating plans such as free fruit Tuesdays.”

The company has also started running a slimming club and in just eight weeks, staff taking part have lost 16 stones between them.

Angus Donaldson, an approvals engineer, has lost nearly two stones.

The 47-year-old said: “It’s been great, and being able to access support through work makes it even easier to stick to.”

For more information on the scheme, call (01670) 532010 or go online and visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk/betterhealthatwork