EXCLUSIVE: Health and social care organisation Virgin Care has achieved a 10% take-up rate for its new online health and lifestyle platform for staff, which launched in January 2017.
The online platform, MyWellness, aims to support the mental, physical and social wellbeing of the organisation’s 7,000 employees. It is divided into three sections, mind, body, and community, in order to mirror the NHS Wheel of Wellbeing and Five Ways to Wellbeing programmes.
MyWellness has been designed to work from any internet-connected device, and an app is automatically available on organisation-issued equipment, such as phones, tablets, desktop and laptop computers. It can also be integrated with more than 40 wearable technology devices.
Through the platform, employees can access custom video-based fitness programmes, mental health support, advice on work-life balance, and tips on managing personal finances. Virgin Care’s employee assistance programme (EAP) is also available through the app.
The organisation worked with 200 employees to co-design and test the programme. More than three quarters (76%) of the employees who tested MyWellness believe the platform would make Virgin Care a better place to work.
In addition to the 200 testers, a further 400 employees joined the platform in the two weeks after its launch.
Virgin Care is looking to run various activities, such as a steps challenge in summer 2017, to drive further engagement with the wellness programme.
Stuart Rennison-Price, people and service director at Virgin Care, said: “The significant pressure facing the health service is widely publicised and our [employees] are not immune from this. They work in challenging and pressurised conditions, often giving a huge amount of discretionary effort to go the extra mile every day to ensure that the services we provide are the very best for our patients.
“It is our responsibility to provide them with tools to help them manage this, and focusing on their own mental and physical health is very important; the MyWellness app is just one of the many ways that we are helping our [employees] feel the difference of working at Virgin Care and look after themselves, as well as our service users.
“The app is one part of our complete healthcare package that’s designed to help [staff] discover their best self. Working with hundreds of our [employees] to design and build the system, we know that it’s more than just a website and can make a real difference, supporting our [employees] to stay healthier and happier. So far [staff] feedback suggests this has been well received and welcome.”