Business Health Matters Launches in Lancashire

The new, £8 million workplace health programme ‘Business Health Matters’ has launched in Lancashire. It’s a revolutionary new initiative that will support businesses across Lancashire in improving the health and wellbeing of their employees.

The Active Lancashire led programme has brought together the expertise of specialists at the University of Central Lancashire, ukactive and Lancashire Mind to deliver a tailored and affordable workplace health offer to Lancashire-based SMEs. As a result of this 3-year programme, employees across the county will be empowered to take ownership and improve their own health and wellbeing. Businesses will benefit from a healthier, happier and more resilient workforce.

Business Health Matters Launches in Lancashire

In response to the increased levels of poor health within Lancashire’s workforce, the programme offers two main services to businesses:

  • the ESF-funded Workplace Health Champion Training
    The free training includes basic skills (Mathematics, English and ESOL) and a Level 2 and Level 3 NCFE-accredited qualification. It’s for individuals who wish to drive change in their organisations and create a network of health ambassadors across the county.
  • the government-backed Workplace Health Screenings service.
    The screenings are focused on employees aged 50+. They combine a physical health assessment and mental health element to produce a unique tool for employees to learn more about their own health and take positive steps to improve it.

The programme has undertaken a robust training and pilot phase over the last 12 months. Staff from leisure trusts and local authorities have undergone extensive training to deliver both the Workplace Health Champion Training and the Workplace Health Screening service. The programme will aim to train 5,000 Workplace Health Champions and conduct over 15,000 health screenings in the workplace, over the next 3 years.

Reducing rates of sickness

Adrian Leather is Chief Executive at Active Lancashire. He explained: “Speaking to Lancashire businesses and business leaders, I repeatedly hear about the loss of staff due to sickness and poor attendance at work. Some of it due to the pandemic, much of it due to long term health conditions.

“The launch of Business Health Matters creates a significant opportunity to increase the competitiveness of our 53,000 businesses and the productivity of our 650,000 workers in Lancashire.

“The research shows that by improving the mental and physical health of employees in Lancashire, we can reduce rates of sickness absence in the county and increase those retained in employment. By bringing these levels in line with national averages, the economy in Lancashire would grow by £3Bn per year.”

Combining £5million investment from the European Social Fund and £3million from the UKRI’s healthy ageing challenge, the launch of the programme is a landmark moment for Lancashire. There’s a huge potential to benefit Lancashire’s economy and ease the strain on the county’s health services.

For further information on the programme, please email businesshealthmatters@activelancashire.org.uk or call 01772 299830.

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