Southampton Solent University - Solent Health

The Bupa Employee Wellbeing Award, Shortlisted 2015, Reaccredited 2016.

Solent Health is an evidence-based programme aimed at addressing the main health issues facing their staff and students: mild mental health disorders; colds, coughs and flu; and musculoskeletal disorders.

Employee impacts

  • Created a wide range of opportunities for staff to improve their health within the working day (11,000 engagements since launch).
  • Employee satisfaction has improved with 79% of surveyed employees agreeing that SHS has improved their experience and 92% agreeing that Solent provides good levels of support for wellbeing.
  • There has been a rise in the number of employees taking part in regular physical activity with 69% of surveyed employees agreeing that the culture at Solent has made them more active, more often.

Business impacts

  • Sickness absence levels have decreased.
  • University objectives, including an HR strategy committed to “a new focus upon employee wellbeing”, have been met.
  • A real-world learning experience is provided for students on Health & Fitness and Psychology degree courses.

Southampton Solent UniversityThe university created Solent Health, originally called Solent Health Spark, in 2009 as a response to the government developing a wellbeing at work agenda and industry-specific initiatives within the higher education sector. It identified a demand for initiatives that addressed mental health issues (such as a mindfulness training programmes), musculoskeletal conditions, increasing physical activity and improving diet.

Originally aimed at staff, the programme has evolved to include the student population, taking a whole university community approach to health improvement.

Recognising that the settings in which people live their daily lives are crucial in determining their health and wellbeing, the programme created a supportive environment and a wide range of participative programmes including opportunities to be active during the working day. This has helped the university community to take more control over their health.

What Southampton Solent University's Vice-Chancellor said:

“Solent has an award-winning track record of creating wide ranging opportunities for employees to take action to improve their health and wellbeing during the working day. Solent Health’s innovative work is both engaging and highly valued across the University. We are proud that Solent Health helps to make Solent a great place to work and strengthens our reputation as a dynamic and distinctive university.” Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor, Southampton Solent University

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