An innovative healthcare partnership between Bam and ourselves (GBHP), the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) School of Psychology and Cancer Focus NI has created a “health and wellbeing legacy”.
GBHP, a joint venture between GRAHAM and Bam Ireland, is imminently set to handover the £33m Replacement Acute Mental Health Inpatient Facility (RAMHIF) within the Belfast City Hospital estate.
The £33m purpose-built unit will provide 74 acute mental health beds and six psychiatric intensive care beds, creating a positive space for healing where patients experience inclusion and normalisation.
During the construction of the South Belfast facility, GBHP approached the QUB School of Psychology and Cancer Focus NI to help shape a positive health and wellbeing agenda for its workforce.
Following consultation, it was agreed to commission a study to evaluate the impact of Cancer Focus NI’s Keeping Well Van on construction workers at the RAMHIF site, to understand the barriers to uptake, and to provide GBHP and Cancer Focus NI with recommendations for increased future engagement.
The vans are mobile drop-in units which bring health checks, cancer awareness and healthy lifestyle information directly to people in their workplace and community.
The four-month study, led by a QUB School of Psychology student, revealed “overwhelmingly positive attitudes towards the Keeping Well Van service” and clear examples of “where action and lifestyle changes were implemented” as a direct result of the initiative.
A 20% increase in perceptions of personal health awareness was also recorded.
Based on the findings, GBHP intends to actively promote the benefits of regular health checks to encourage wider participation among its team.
Commenting on the success of the study, Michael Smyth, HR Director, said:
“At GRAHAM, we understand that wellbeing is pivotal to personal performance and, therefore, we proactively create a working environment where everyone has ready access to the tools and knowledge to be fit, healthy and positive in what they do.
“We are resolute in our commitment to working in partnership with colleagues to ensure their wellbeing needs are met, and this study is an example of our industry-leading approach in practice.
“This collaboration has also set the precedent for new practical links between GRAHAM and the QUB School of Psychology, which we are determined to strengthen through the development of further bespoke wellbeing studies across our other sites.”
In addition to RAMHIF, GBHP is in the process of constructing the new £57m maternity unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the £95m Acute Services Block at the Ulster Hospital.
In 2017, GBHP was honoured as the overall winner at the Construction Excellence Awards for the Ulster Hospital’s Inpatient Ward Block which has set the standard for healthcare construction.