James Smart Memorial Lecture

“We asked for workers and they sent us humans”

Why workforce mental health & well being is vital to building community trust & confidence

The 50th Anniversary James Smart Memorial Lecture, delivered by Andy Rhodes, QPM is now available to watch on SIPR’s YouTube Channel.

Andy Rhodes QPM is the former Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary one of 43 forces in England & Wales with a workforce of 6,000. For 10 years he was the NPCC lead for wellbeing, staff engagement and organisational development. His policing background has been mainly in the uniform and specialist operations disciplines including Counter Terrorism Firearms Command. He was awarded the QPM in 2016 and has an MBA and a Post Graduate Certificate in coaching. Until retirement in 2021 he was chair of CPOSA the Chief Police Officers Staff Association. Andy has worked with experts from across policing and academia and is now the Service Director for the National Well Being Service (NPWS) Oscar Kilo (www.oscarkilo.org.uk).

Andy reflected on the police service’s progress in this challenging area of organisational development, gained from his experience as NPCC lead and co-founder of the National Police Well Being Service – Oscar Kilo in 2015. Andy presented a compelling and provocative argument for placing well being at the centre of a policing strategy linking workforce mental and physical health outcomes to public trust and confidence. Drawing on evidence and practice from police systems across the globe, learning from other social care systems and the latest developments in technology he described a future where mental health and well being is placed at the forefront of every operational and organisational decision, rather than as an afterthought. By making this paradigm shift we can start to see workforce mental health as an opportunity rather than a threat. A chance to re-frame the conversation based on the principles of organisational justice so that the courageous people who step forward to join our profession are given the protection they deserve and therefore are better able to police our communities in a competent and compassionate way.

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