NHS Employers has pledged to continue to work in improving the health of the NHS workforce as outlined by the public health white paper.

With more than 1.4 million staff, the NHS is the largest employer in the UK and, the white paper says “can lead by example in looking after the health and wellbeing of its staff.”

To support this, the Department of Health will work to implement the recommendations of Steve Boorman’s report on the health and wellbeing of NHS staff.

The NHS is working towards achieving a one-third reduction in sickness absence, which could release up to £555m a year in efficiency savings.

Responding to the white paper the director of NHS Employers Dean Royles said: “We want to work closely with the DH and the human resources community on the development of a more detailed workforce strategy by next autumn.

“We welcome the white paper’s view that the NHS, as the UK’s largest employer, can lead by example with its programmes to improve staff health and well-being. A lot of work has already been done at local level to help reduce sickness absence. 

“NHS Employers is continuing to work with organisations to share good practice and learning. For instance, we recently launched NHS well-being at work, which is an online resource bringing together the best evidence and practice in one place.

“Achieving a more consistent approach has the potential to bring enormous benefits for both patients and staff.”