Sterling Pharma Solutions is a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) within the pharmaceutical industry; developing and manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) which go into a range of life-saving drugs around the world.
Our company was founded in 1969 in the North East of England, and today we have a network of facilities across the UK and the US serving a global customer base.
Although Sterling is growing quickly, our colleagues’ health and wellbeing remains a key focus for the business, in line with our value to be caring. On site occupational health support, weekly doctor and physiotherapist appointments and free fresh fruit on site every day, are just some of the ways we support our employees.
We aim to continuously improve the way we support our employees, and we are currently on a journey to enhance this, by following the Better Health at Work Award framework. Since joining this programme, we have introduced:
- A health and wellbeing committee to develop our strategy
- Defined a wellbeing budget to support the strategy
- Increased our occupational health nurses on site
- Increased the number of flu vaccinations available to employees
- Trained 15 Mental Health First Aiders with more to follow this year
- Introduced mental health training for line managers
- Dedicated wellbeing campaigns each month, as part of a health and wellbeing communications strategy, based on employee feedback
- Extended our private health care scheme to offer it to all of our employees
As part of our health and wellbeing strategy, we carried out a survey which identified that some employees were experiencing problems with their sleep patterns. Although many of us do struggle with sleep from time to time, for some people it was a long-term problem affecting their everyday life as a result of a number of things including working shifts, a change in routine, lack of activity during lockdown, or due to partners/children not sleeping.
Based on these findings, we launched a campaign around World Sleep Day, supporting not only our employees, but their families too. As part of this campaign, we set up an interactive stand to promote sleep awareness; in order to ensure we catered to all shift patterns and reached all employees, we ran this for five days. Sleep diaries were provided for our employees to complete; asking questions about their sleep patterns, influences impacting their sleep, and then providing helpful hints and tips to aid a good night’s sleep.
In addition, we shared a document showing the ten commandments to a restful sleep and had a rolling presentation with information for employees who did not attend the stand but who passed by. The stand was supported by our health advocates for two hours each day and was available to employees 24/7.
Gift sets were given away daily, which included sleep teas, ear plugs and sleep masks and those who attended the stand were entered into a prize draw. Participants won:
- Blue tooth eye masks
- White noise lamps
- Sleep sprays and sets
- Aroma diffuser lamps
- Sunrise alarm clocks
This campaign prompted conversations and support for employees, visitors, contractors and their loved ones. The initiative was incredibly popular and supported the improvement of people’s sleep, which ultimately contributes to their overall health and wellbeing.
Maureen Turner from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust was very supportive and helped us throughout the campaign. Last year, we won the Silver Better Health at Work Award, and this year we are preparing our submission for the Gold Award.
For information on joining the programme, contact Maureen Turner, Health Improvement Practitioner Specialist, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on 0191 270 4514 or visit www.betterhealthatworkne.org