OHFT appoints new Wellbeing Guardian

Oxford Health has appointed its first Wellbeing Guardian to further demonstrate the Trust’s commitment to our workforce through the Health and Wellbeing (H&W) programme.

OHFT appoints new Wellbeing Guardian

Bernard Galton, who has been a non-executive director for three yearswill continue his work with trust Board colleagues and the H&W team to ensure a farreaching and ambitious programme of work is embedded within the organisation. 

For Bernard, wellbeing has always been a priority and he is extremely proud of the work carried out by OHFT colleagues during the pandemic and how the H&W team has supported staff. 

He said: “Having been a non executive director (NED) at the trust since 2018, I know Health and Wellbeing is already well established and I don’t see this as a new addition to my role – I have always had people and wellbeing in mind. I’m also chair of our People Leadership and Culture Committee, which again has strong health and wellbeing foundations. 

“Covid-19 as we all know has been unprecedented for the NHS and all staff; their health and wellbeing has never been more important.  

Our offers and support to staff have flexed and moved to adapt with the changing times we’ve faced. We’ve often led the way in this field, from a really solid base to begin with. 

“Over the years within the NHS, health and wellbeing has become a much more commonly used term and programme of work. The future of that programme here at OHFT is something I am really positive about and know we will further enhance and achieve so much more.” 

Of his new role, Bernard added: “The trust Board has ongoing wellbeing conversations on the agenda and it’s always a priority. There is of course more to do but in my role as Wellbeing Guardian, I will continue to challenge when needed but am confident we will continue to make progress and further enhance our offer to our staff over the coming months and years.” 

As our first Wellbeing Guardian he will look at Oxford Health’s activities through a holistic health and wellbeing lensThe Guardian is a reflective role, sense checking what is going on and taking the lead for the Board in prompting remedial action if it is required and will: 

  • question decisions which might impact on the wellbeing of our NHS people; 
  • challenge behaviours which are likely to be detrimental; 
  • challenge the Board to account for its decisions and their impact on the health and wellbeing of our staff; and, 
  • remind the Board to consider any unintended consequences of organisational actions and review them with a view to mitigating these. 

Before retiring in 2014, Bernard was Director General in the Welsh government. He also worked at the highest level in NHS Wales gaining an in depth understanding of the key strategic issues facing health and social care services and the professional and operational challenges facing clinical leaders. 

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Published: 27 April 2021