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Model NHS talking therapies staff wellbeing strategy

The Model NHS Talking Therapies Staff Wellbeing Strategy has been developed jointly by all four Thames Valley Talking Therapies services within the Health Innovation Oxford and Thames Valley region and supported by the former Oxford AHSN Anxiety and Depression Network. It was funded by NHS England. It aims to support all staff working in talking therapies services to maintain good workplace wellbeing, and support sustainable services for patients, including through improving service performance and staff retention.

The Model Strategy sets out how any talking therapies service can adopt or adapt the wealth of evidence-based approaches to the needs of its own staff using a range of suggested practical actions. It comprises four strategic aims:

  1. Leading with compassion
  2. Managing collaboratively
  3. Team-working effectively
  4. Belonging for, and by, all

At the heart of the Model Strategy is a compassionate approach to service leadership and management that reflects the NHS People Promise and that places “a clear and prevailing emphasis on influencing, managing and leading a workplace towards one which systemically and systematically creates, promotes and maintains good staff wellbeing”.

The Model Strategy is accompanied by a series of thematic discussion documents and case study examples from the contributing talking therapies services to inform and inspire any other service. It may also be of interest and relevance to other mental health service workplace settings and wider healthcare services.

Feedback on the Model NHS Talking Therapies Staff Wellbeing Strategy

Our talking therapies colleagues provide such a skilled and important service and it is vital that we understand, share and implement best practice, in supporting them to stay healthy, well and effective.”

Claire Murdoch, CEO, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and National Mental Health Director, NHS England


I very much welcome this strategy and fully endorse the approach it outlines to support staff working in talking therapies services across the Thames Valley. Our workforce is our greatest asset and one we must take care of.”

Nick Broughton, CEO, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust


I would like to thank colleagues for their work in developing this excellent strategy, which has been produced in collaboration with talking therapies providers across the Thames Valley and funded via and supported by the Oxford Academic Health Science Network. Our staff are our most important asset and supporting them to be healthy and well at work is of upmost importance to us.

Julian Emms, CEO, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust