Hafal chosen as UNISON inaugural Choose Well Champion

Today Hafal launched a Choose Well campaign for staff and clients which will support them to choose the right NHS Wales service if they become ill or are injured

In a groundbreaking initiative to support the NHS, UNISON Cymru is using its reach, reputation and relationships with the employers of its 95,000 members in Wales to actively promote Choose Well to hundreds of thousands of people across Wales. Hafal is one of the first employers to become a Choose Well Champion and deliver the campaign to its clients and staff.

The NHS Wales Choose Well campaign aims to educate members of the public about the range of NHS and other services which are available as alternatives to attending the Emergency Department or dialling 999. As a Choose Well Champion, Hafal will run a two-tiered all-Wales campaign focusing on:-

1.Providing its 200+ staff across Wales with key information on which services to access and when

2. Providing thousands of clients across Wales with Choose Well information and tools which provide immediate and accessible guidance on choosing the right service.

Hafal Chief Executive Alun Thomas said: “We are delighted to be chosen as the inaugural Choose Well Champion. It will give us an opportunity to provide a really valuable service to both our staff and clients – and enhance their wellbeing.

 “If you know what services are avaliable, and which services should be accessed in what situation, you are more likely to get a better and more timely service which fits your needs.

“And this approach makes sense for service providers: Emergency Departments and 999 services are for people with life-threatening or serious conditions which need immediate attention, so if patients with minor illnesses and injuries can be signposted to more appropriate services, this will lessen the pressure on those emergency services.”

Dawn Bowden, UNISON Cymru Wales Head of Health, said: “UNISON is particularly pleased that the first organisation to respond to our call was the leading mental health charity, Hafal. Hafal will now actively promote Choose Well messages to over 200 staff and 3000 people with a serious mental illness across all 22 counties in Wales.

“We would appeal to all employers with an interest in their employees welfare as well as that of their clients and service users to join UNISON and a growing list of exemplar employers in Wales and become a #ChooseWellChampion.”

Tracy Myhill, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: “The Trust is delighted that Hafal are our first Choose Well Champions. As we head into the traditional winter pressures period, the Choose Well campaign and champions like Hafal will help us reach the people who need our ambulances the most.

“Every day we are called to life-threatening emergencies – heart attacks, choking, serious loss of blood. These are what our emergency ambulances are here for, first and foremost, so having Choose Well Champions to help spread the word about the alternatives to 999 will help ensure more of our emergency ambulances are available for those who really need them.”