SWell – Birmingham

The original SWell project was funded by Birmingham Women’s & Children’s NHS Foundation Trust PIC Charities. The project was inspired by a desire to do something positive for staff wellbeing.

Project Summary

There was very little research evidence about what we might be able to do to improve staff wellbeing and to sustain that wellbeing for the longer term. The project was split into 3 phases:

Finding out about existing wellbeing initiatives.

Our starting point was to ask the staff in Paediatric Critical Care (PCC) at Birmingham Children’s Hospital about the initiatives they knew had been developed with a view to improving staff wellbeing. We then used health psychology research evidence to identify the ‘active ingredients’ (the Behaviour Change Techniques) used in those initiatives that are likely to be successful in changing behaviour.

What does wellbeing mean to you?

Wellbeing is quite an abstract thing. When you start thinking about it, it can be very difficult to put it into words. We asked staff to look at a selection of images of places, people, pets, and to identify one which represented wellbeing to them. We used Appreciative Inquiry to guide our open-ended questioning about what wellbeing means, and how we might think creatively about how we could improve wellbeing in the workplace.

You can read about this study in our BMJ Open paper here.

When is your wellbeing challenged – what helps and hinders at those times?

We interviewed staff to ask them in what kinds of circumstances they felt their wellbeing had been challenged. This included instances of things at work and in their life outside of work. We then asked what helped them in those challenging times and what hindered them.

“Wellbeing is quite an abstract thing. When you start thinking about it, it can be very difficult to put it into words.”

Meet our talented research team

Rachael Morrison

Principal Investigator, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Paediactric Intensive Care Unit, Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Dr Isabelle Butcher

Project Manager, Aston University (2020-2022)

Dr Heather Duncan

Previously at Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Sarah Webb

Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham B4 6NH, U.K

Harmeet Bhamra

BSc Psychology student at Aston University at the time of the project.

Omobolanle Balogun

Placement Research Assistant, Aston University