Our NHS People

Participant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We’ve included this list of FAQs for participants to help you know what to expect in your Health and Wellbeing Conversation.

How often can I have a Health and Wellbeing Conversation?

These conversations are had once a year as a minimum, and you can revisit them more often of your circumstances change you fell you need a new plan or additional support.

Can I opt out of having a Health and Wellbeing Conversation?

Absolutely. These are safe spaces for you to reflect and be supported but you are free to opt out if you don’t want one. Your line manager will ideally check-in with you to see if you’ve had one or want to make time for one, so do keep them up-to-date about your choice.

That being said, Health and Wellbeing Conversations are a preventive initiative. This means you don’t have to feel ill or be ‘struggling’ to benefit from one. The main aim is to empower you to nurture your own wellbeing by building a strategy to manage the impact of Covid-19 and other high-impact work situations, and to make a wellbeing plan to reduce the negative effects these might have on you.

Do I have to have my Health and Wellbeing Conversation with my line manager?

No, you don’t. It’s likely these will often happen with line managers but you are free to choose another facilitator that suits you better. You also don’t need to give reasons for this if you don’t want to.

It’s also important to bear in mind that your line manager may not feel they are the best person for the conversation either. The key here is for mutual respect and understanding about where you are each at.

Do I have to share details of my health conditions or any diagnosis during my Health and Wellbeing Conversation?

You don’t have to share or disclose anything you don’t want to. This is a safe space and it’s up to you to decide what you’d like to talk about and the kinds of support your facilitator might be able to help you with.

Will details of these conversations be shared with anyone else?

These conversations are confidential. If you feel you need extra support, your facilitator will help to signpost you. In supporting you to find extra help, they shouldn’t share the details with anyone else without your prior permission.

It’s also important to remember that confidentiality doesn’t apply to situations where it becomes apparent there is a risk of harm to yourself or others. These situations should be managed in line with your local safeguarding policy.

What should I expect from my Health and Wellbeing Conversation facilitator?

Your facilitator is there to listen with compassion and empathy and to help you think about what you can do to care for your wellbeing.

You can expect:

  • A 1:1 conversation of up to 1 hour in a safe, comfortable and confidential space
  • A time that works for you
  • Confidentiality and an agreement about any notes that are taken during the discussion
  • Signposting to further support if you feel you need more help
  • The opportunity to make a wellbeing plan. Your facilitator will have access to some helpful tools and resources to support you to do this
  • Freedom to opt out at any time, even during the conversation, if you don’t feel comfortable

These conversations aren’t therapy or counselling sessions, though if that level of support would be helpful for you, your facilitator will be able to signpost you to further support services available.

Is there anything I can do to prepare for my Health and Wellbeing Conversation?

Reflecting on your own experience beforehand will help you get the most out of the conversation.

When preparing for your conversation, it will be helpful to consider what has helped or drained your resilience and how severe and long lasting those feelings have been.

Take some time to think about who will be the best fit to have your conversation with: this might be your line manager or another facilitator who you feel comfortable with.

Your personal wellbeing plan

Your personal wellbeing plan

Health and Wellbeing Conversations are about helping you to manage your wellbeing in and out of work. This personal wellbeing plan belongs to you and is a tool to help you to have an open conversation about things that are important for your health and wellbeing.

The aim is to help you think about things that you can do or change to help you feel well and helps to identify the things your manager or organisation can support you with.

Reading through the Understanding what impacts our resilience and reflecting on the questions for each of the 6 Domains of Resilience will help prompt some of your thinking as you get ready for your conversation. The following are also useful tools you might want to work with, with your facilitator, as you make a plan to manage your wellbeing moving forward:

Some questions to consider:

1. What does a good day look like for you?

2. Do you know how to access health and wellbeing support at work when you need it? What can your manager / team / organisation do to improve access?

3. What activities improve your sense of wellbeing?

4. Is there anything that has a negative impact on your wellbeing?

5. Is there anything your team / manager / organisation could support you with to help manage your health and wellbeing?

6. What can your manager / team / organisation do to make work more inclusive for you and to recognise the diversity you bring to the workplace?

7. How best can you be supported to work flexibly to maintain a good work / life balance?

8. When will you have your next Health and Wellbeing Conversation?

Other resources and templates:

NHS Scotland My Wellbeing Planning tool | How are you feeling today NHS? Tool | MIND wellness action plans