1684b Learning from the consultation on a healthy workplace framework for ireland

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Abstract

IPH designed, delivered and analysed the consultation process used to inform the development of a new national policy on healthy workplaces in Ireland. Pre-consultation workshops were used to inform the main consultation approach and prioritise consultation questions, alongside input from an expert Steering Group. An online consultation questionnaire was refined, and then launched by the Minister for Health Promotion alongside a communication and dissemination plan. 4 regional workshops were facilitated attracting 193 attendees over a 10 week consultation period. Responses to the online questionnaire were analysed using SPSS, alongside qualitative analysis of free text responses. 1602 valid responses were receive (n=1521 submitted on a personal basis; 81 on behalf of an organisation). Over 60% of respondents were over 45 and over 70% were female. 87% were public sector workers and around half had line management responsibility. There was a high level of support for the proposed vision, aims and objectives of the framework. Respondents viewed culture change, communication, leadership and inclusion as the most important policy objectives. Training, guidance and case studies were the resources most commonly identified as useful tools to support implementation. Mental health was identified as a priority issue, followed by physical activity and healthy eating. Older workers and workers with existing chronic illness or disability were viewed as a priority group, in addition to low paid workers. A perspective analysis explored patterns of response based on respondent age, gender, chronic illness status and occupational characteristics. Core themes emerging from the qualitative analysis related to better use of plain English; concerns regarding implementation; better integration of work-life balance issues and a focus on culture change.

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