Introducing Improving Wellbeing and Working Culture (IWWC)

09/07/2024 - Sara Dewar Introducing Improving Wellbeing and Working Culture (IWWC)

Dr Elizabeth Kelly is Chair of the Improving Wellbeing and Working Cultures Strategic Board.

I was delighted that the National Workforce Strategy for Health and Social Care in Scotland made it clear that the wellbeing of our health, social care and social work workforce, wherever you work, must continue to be a priority.

I was invited to chair a board of senior leaders from health, social care and social work that has aimed to facilitate open and realistic conversations about the importance of culture within all organisations, the current challenges and opportunities and to support the development and implementation of national programmes.

I know that the impact of the pandemic; the increasing workload and the financial challenges this has caused, will be felt within our services for many years to come. To help overcome the challenges ahead, I believe we must continue to look after our most valuable asset, the staff who provide care in all places, and those that manage and lead our services.

We need to enable a culture across health, social care and social work organisations where the people delivering and enabling care are supported in and by their workplace. A culture where people are able to thrive and succeed in fulfilling roles, and are enabled to provide the best possible care for the people of Scotland.

The Scottish Government has published Improving Wellbeing and Working Cultures (IWWC), which sets out a vision to support and enhance local cultures across our health, social care and social work organisations  through programmes of work at a national level that focus on the three pillars of wellbeing, leadership and equality.

IWWC outlines our approach to supporting our health, social care and social work staff and can be considered as a critical enabler to creating a sustainable health and care service. Good quality care is fundamentally linked with developing a positive and inclusive working environment for all staff. I am aware that without due care taken to the need to improve culture, wellbeing and morale, the delivery of reformed processes, models of care and innovative technologies cannot be realised fully.

In Summer 2024, a detailed action plan will be developed with clear deliverables and outcomes on wellbeing, leadership and equality. Best practice examples will also be included to provide illustrative examples of what organisations, employers and leaders are doing and can learn from  to promote, enable and support good working culture. 

I would want to encourage employers and people throughout organisations to embed the ethos, approaches and values within IWWC and I and colleagues on the board and in Scottish Government will continue to engage with organisations, teams and individuals to help deliver on the ambitions.

You can find out more about IWWC on the Scottish Government website.

Reflective Challenge: How might you embed the ethos, approaches and values within IWWC to enable and support good working culture in your workplace? 

We’d like to thank Dr Elizabeth Kelly for writing this guest blog for the launch of the Improving Workforce Wellbeing and Cultures (IWWC) to help share the context for the publication.

Dr Elizabeth Kelly

Dr Elizabeth Kelly

Chair of the Improving Wellbeing and Working Cultures Strategic Board

Dr Kelly has had national leadership roles in the NHS in Scotland since 2008; initially as the National clinical lead for the Scottish Government for Palliative and End of Life Care. She developed and led the implementation of “Living and Dying Well” – a national action plan for Palliative and End of life Care in Scotland based on equity of provision determined by need – not diagnosis.
She was part of the first cohort of Delivering the Future- the national strategic clinical leadership programme.
She was appointed as a non-executive director of National Services Scotland Health Board in 2007 and from 2013 to 2019 was Chair of the Board. She was Chair and vice chair of the NHS Chairs group and sat on a number of national groups.
She took part in a round table discussion on Kindness in public policy, hosted by Carnegie UK – and became a member of the Kindness Innovation Network before becoming a Carnegie associate to support and promote the opportunities that comes from kindness and relationships in care.
From 2021 she chaired a Scottish government stakeholder group on wellbeing and mental health for staff and has podcasts on kindness accessible on the national wellbeing hub.
She has been an independent chair of the Scottish Government Strategic Board for improving Workplace Cultures which formed in May 2023.

Throughout her leadership roles, Dr Kelly continued to practice as a GP in rural and semi-rural parts of Scotland until retirement in 2020.

All information regarding our contributors was correct at the time of publishing.

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