The Oscar Kilo Awards have been created to recognise the amazing work that has been done and continues to be done, across UK policing when it comes to providing wellbeing support for the people who work for you.
On this page, we will be telling you about the fantastic work carried out by each of the winning projects, sharing your winning ideas, learnings, and best practice.
The award categories reflect the seven areas of the Blue Light Wellbeing Framework (BLWF):
- Absence management
- Creating the environment
- Mental health
- Personal resilience
- Protecting the workforce
- Occupational health
We also have a ‘special non police award’, for other organisations such as UK fire and rescue services who are working towards completing the BLWF and this year we have added a 'Crisis Support' award.
If you are inspired by what you read the 2024 Oscar Kilo Awards will be open for nominations in the Autumn.
Project: Embedding wellbeing into leadership
Supportive leadership and wellbeing were introduced into Gloucestershire’s corporate strategy in 2017. It combines leadership and wellbeing, recognising that leadership behaviour, and the relationship with managers, are amongst the most influential factors on both individual and organisational wellbeing.
In 2022, they launched ‘our approach to wellbeing’, under which supportive leadership and wellbeing was highlighted, to create wellbeing competent leaders to role model healthy behaviours and be compassionate and supportive of their teams.
One enabler for delivering this objective was to embed wellbeing into their leadership academy programmes.
The leadership academy has developed products which will incorporate the key leadership curriculum at all levels and will be tailored to match the individual and the role they hold within the organisation. Each of the programmes are supported by access to coaching and mentoring support.
They use a variety of communication methods to share the leadership academy offer including briefings, webinars, emails and weekly bulletins and host roadshows and corporate events.
They have mandated programmes at each level to ensure compliance with the National College of Leadership providing clear development routes to ensure all leaders have this input.
They have introduced a leadership expectations contract to share with all leaders within the organisation, setting out the expectations of all leaders and putting wellbeing at the heart of everything they do.
They will continue to monitor evaluation data, staff surveys and identify any areas where skills gaps are emerging, we also identify future opportunities such as TIPT or peer support programmes and ensure we work together to upskill the workforce in these areas
Project: Leadership & Me framework
In February 2022, Merseyside Police introduced a new leadership framework, which explicitly sets out the behaviours the force expects of people at all levels across the organisation. The Leadership & Me framework brings to life how they do things at Merseyside Police and the training that sits alongside it ensures that the document lives and breathes and becomes more than words on a page – it becomes a way of interacting.
The programme supports blended learning, the five one day modules are delivered in the classroom through face to face activity, reflective practice, group work, post and pre work and individual tasks. Those attending the programme are asked to bring real live examples of experience to the conversations.
The leadership framework has been embedded into their recruitment processes and annual appraisals and are in the process of embedding it into all people services activities across the organisation. There has been a significant reduction in the number of grievances across the force since the launch of Leadership & Me, which could correlate to the improved culture in having open, honest and supportive conversations.
Absence management: Winner
Greater Manchester Police
Project: Enhancing occupational health
GMP conducted a review of their existing occupational health (OH) structures, processes, and outputs to determine whether they met the standards defined within the national occupational health standards and the Blue Light Wellbeing Framework (BLWF).
Evidence was gathered through the peer review to build the case for change and evidence a compelling business case for remodelling the service to provide a quality OH for the force, ensuring the delivery of a variety of essential health services to help employees stay fit and well for duty.
To implement the recommendations, a project was established under the force improvement programme to include improved access to occupational health services, increased awareness and uptake of wellbeing initiatives, and a more positive and supportive working environment for GMP employees.
The occupational health and wellbeing service is now staffed by a multi-disciplinary professional team that work together to deliver a structured service based upon evidence and mitigation of risk that meet the health and wellbeing needs of the workforce.
Assessment and treatment will now focus on early intervention to keep people safe and well in work, and when individuals are away from work, facilitate swift management / treatment to allow a speedy return. The service can now provide proactive health surveillance of the workforce to understand physical/psychological capabilities, fitness for role, and overall health, contributing towards a happy, healthy, and productive workforce.
This programme has delivered improvement through the following:
health needs assessment
new structure and specialist roles
improved communication and clarity of service offer.
Outcomes have been measured against the peer review recommendations and have had a direct impact on the quality of care delivered to officers and staff. The full benefits include:
improved management structure
better clinical decisions
increase appointment availability
lower appointment waiting times
better utilisation of clinicians’ time
improved service quality
improved staff morale
improved organisational approach to risk management.
The programme has delivered significant financial savings for GMP through a combination of measures, including the introduction of more efficient working practices, better utilisation of clinicians' time, and improvements to the governance framework that will aim to reduce the risk of costly errors and litigation.
Absence management: Runner-up
Project: The Rosemary Conley 28-Day Immunity Plan
The Rosemary Conley 28-Day Immunity Plan is a holistic approach that unifies health, fitness, nutrition and wellbeing to inspire and encourage a more productive and engaged workforce.
Alongside Rosemary Conley and Mary Morris the team at Leicestershire have put together an in-house programme targeted at all officers and staff who want to improve their nutrition habits, boost their immunity and increase their activity/exercise through positive lifestyle change.
The plan now has a dedicated section on the intranet. Due to the tangible link between healthy eating and mental wellbeing, Leicestershire have reported one of the outcomes of the project is that people are less likely to resort to absence as a way of handling work-based challenges.
Creating the environment: Winner
Project: Health and wellbeing - wellbeing collective
Following feedback from their 2021 internal health and care survey, a programme of work was created to review the existing wellbeing services - a key part of this work was to transition occupational health services back in-house.
Existing services were reviewed and tightened up and new services and pathways to support were put in place, including:
health and wellbeing mobile app
role-related psychological screening
24/7 mental health support line
The force has focused on the health and wellbeing of those within the organisation by ensuring all services were easily accessible, promoted efficiently and meeting the current demands for those who were in need. Where previous pathways were cumbersome and involved claiming expenses, these barriers have been overcome with the introduction of new services.
The main beneficiaries are those in need of support and those who are starting to struggle with their wellbeing are supported at an earlier stage to try and prevent any long-term sickness. Early intervention is key, resulting in the recruitment of a wellbeing coordinator to promote services and take a proactive approach.
Clinicians were recruited to the OH team, enabling a local delivery of services.
Creating the environment: Runner-up
Greater Manchester Police
Project: GMP Armed Forces network
GMP have set up a strategic ‘Supporting Our Armed Forces’ steering group chaired by assistant chief constable with heads of recruitment, HR, neighbourhood policing, workforce development and other appropriate individuals with an aim to understand our internal armed forces community, improve support for them and for the wider armed forces community we serve.
Before this work began, the force had zero data on staff who were from the armed forces community. To date the membership is 250+ and growing and 50+ reservists have also been identified and data maintained to assist in communication at important times.
Mental health: Winner
Project: Gwent Police wellbeing team
Gwent Police chief officer team have invested in a new wellbeing team to fully embed the importance of wellbeing and mental health in Gwent Police with clear and visible leadership, to create an environment that empowers officers and staff with the internal resources to build resilience, purpose, connections, and to be adaptable, supportive, open and work-ready.
This new wellbeing team consists of two wellbeing specialists, and a wellbeing lead.
Wellbeing ambassadors are the extension of the wellbeing team with the aim of bringing the wellbeing focus into every team/department. They have trained over 54 individuals who are now able to support colleagues who may be struggling with their wellbeing.
Workforce welfare and wellbeing are a high priority, and the force has a detailed wellbeing strategy and a range of wellbeing tactics to support the workforce. The force sickness absence data, both current and historic, is used to shape and develop wellbeing activity to accurately reflect the need of the workforce.
During 2022 this new wellbeing team have:
produced wellbeing plans, support models and PDR objectives
created and amended the staff and officer induction input
amended induction packs and given inputs on wellbeing to specialist departments on numerous wellbeing topics including stress, burnout, resilience, trauma management, and financial awareness
devised and amended the ‘peer support systems’ and ‘high risk psychological screening’ programme
developed a wellbeing toolkit and produced specialised packages for leaders and PSD
introduced support networks and held events
introduced OK9 wellbeing dogs into force
developed a Dyslexia portfolio for the workforce
started to introduce a trauma resilience package to frontline workers.
Mental health: Runner-up
Project: Psychological screening programme
Lincolnshire Police have recognised that many roles within the emergency service sector have unique demands that can affect physical and mental wellbeing, and additional support would benefit many employees.
Their psychological screening project supports individuals by offering early intervention to those working in high-risk roles, reinforcing that their information is confidential, so they feel comfortable and able to open up and be honest with how they are feeling. This service isn’t about questioning their ability to conduct their role, it’s about providing support or signposting for future support to enable staff to continue working in their roles.
The assessments carried out help identify clinical conditions such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, and burnout. This is when the qualified practitioner can then link the staff member in with other services the force currently provides, such as counselling, chaplaincy, and the 24/7 crisis line.
Personal resilience: Winner
Project: Supporting personal financial resilience via our interest free loan scheme
The development and enhancement of an interest free loan scheme recognises that financial reward encompasses more than just pay, and by exploring additional benefits for colleagues, it can contribute to their personal and financial resilience and have an impact on their mental health.
In 2017 Durham Constabulary introduced two HMRC compliant interest free loan schemes designed to help colleagues. The schemes were helpful, but they were potentially underused. The target group was all colleagues and they had been used by just 104 colleagues (5% of the workforce).
Cost of living pressures on colleagues prompted Durham to review the schemes, identifying and eliminating potential barriers and maximising opportunities to support colleagues.
An inclusive and effective consultation process took place with wellbeing advocates, line managers and departments including finance and welfare involved in the process.
The scheme recognises the correlation between finances and mental health/personal resilience. For this reason, they have designed the process so the “gatekeeping role” sits within their welfare officer team - all applicants are offered a confidential conversation to explore whether any additional support could be of help.
Consultation across staff groups and via an anonymous survey have indicated that they have increased awareness and knowledge of the new schemes and that the changes have been positively received. Indications have been that the new scheme is “more likely” to be used by colleagues and the intent is to monitor how this translates into number of applications and what opportunities we have to offer wider welfare support.
Understanding that finances contribute to mental health, personal resilience and workplace engagement has been integral to developing this project. They have seen a range of examples where the old schemes helped manage a new purchase with greater ease, to an example where it helped someone out of an abusive relationship taking their family to a place of safety – they knew they had the right basis to assist more colleagues, but we had to understand and remove potential barriers.
Success of the new scheme will be measured annually by:
knowledge and awareness of scheme across workforce
number of applications
opportunities for applicants to link in, via welfare officers, with wider wellbeing services that might be of assistance.
Personal resilience: Runner-up
West Midlands Police
Project: Alcohol experiment
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Liverpool had found that one third of UK police officers and staff met the criteria for heavy drinking, and this was more common in those with a mental health problem.
West Midlands Police Live Alcohol-Free Experiment ran for the whole of January 2023.
The programme is based on the principles of Annie Grace’s 30-day alcohol free experiment, has been developed to help people to take an informed break from alcohol and targeted those who were seeking to reboot or reset in 2023, to prioritise their health and wellbeing, manage stress, increase their energy, improve sleep and overall personal resilience.
The project has removed the barrier for colleagues to access support for alcohol issues. Everyone who joined the experiment benefitted from daily consistent support, increasing their chances of achieving their own personal goals.
Protecting the workforce: Winner
Project: Protecting the workforce wellbeing programme
Cheshire Constabulary has seen an increase in the requirement for localised wellbeing support. This is attributed to an increase in frequent exposure to traumatic incidents requiring debriefs and psychological support, officer assaults and hate crime, and a need to increase wellbeing provision within FCC and custody suites.
The protecting the workforce programme is designed to support officers and staff to fulfil the demanding roles they perform through the provision of a holistic package of wellbeing and psychological support.
The force has undertaken a review of current provision and as a result several actions have been put in place.
Additional traumatic incident stress management officers recruited to increase support across all areas.
Op Hampshire aligned to force 8 point promise and debriefing framework updated.
Consultative support extended to include frontline officers/staff following exposure to traumatic incidents.
Calendar of events to actively promote the force wellbeing strands each month.
Force wellbeing action plan designed and implemented consisting of monthly drop-in surgeries offering medical mot’s, specialist counselling, wellbeing support and visits from Police Federation and Unison. Bespoke localised wellbeing support plans have been put in place.
Targeted support put in place using Oscar Kilo sleep webinars; promotion of NWPBF to officers and staff who have been exposed to trauma, incidents of assaults/hate crime.
Wellbeing steering group implemented.
An organisational health check is now in place to measure the success of wellbeing provision. Sickness absence including psychological related sickness, injury, and assaults are analysed and quarterly stats are provided on the use of the force employee assistance programme and occupational health.
Data gathered as part of the organisational health check is presented to the force leadership team and the protecting our workforce programme is linked to the chief constables plan on a page and people strategy to develop a culture and environment that fosters employee wellbeing and builds resilience.
Protecting the workforce: Runner-up
The quality of the entries in this category were excellent making them hard to judge therefore we are awarding two runners up.
Project: Welfare and benevolent fund
A welfare fund was created in Bedfordshire several years ago, it worked well but needed modernisation. A constitution was adopted, and a new operating model and governance board established.
The demand for help and people seeking access to the fund has increased significantly. The project has made a great deal of difference to the organisation pushing it forward into the welfare arena.
The welfare and benevolent fund is now widely used across the force. The need for staff to be open, honest and frank about all aspects of their welfare needs encompassing; physical, social, mental and financial health has changed organisationally because of new projects and initiatives and individuals have become more confident in seeking help when they are struggling financially.
Occupational health: Winner
Project: Occupational health relaunch
The force strategy at Merseyside Police outlines two goals, healthy people and healthy organisations. Feedback from the 2021 national wellbeing survey highlighted some areas for improvement, one of these being officers and staff wanted improved accessibility to occupational health support. Merseyside set about planning and delivering a change program, investing £0.5m into their occupational health unit (OHU).
One of the most significant changes they have made was the relocation of OHU into new accommodation. It is more spacious, has parking facilities and is centrally located for most staff and officers. The building offers a secure and confidential environment to ensure clients feel safe and valued when attending appointments.
In addition to this, they have increased accessibility through the following:
wellbeing training is now part of police staff inductions
OHU wellbeing officer provides training to specialist departments including FIB, custody, FLO’s and PCSO’s
several psycho-education workshops have been introduced
an in-house physiotherapist service has been introduced and outreach physio sessions also take place
drop-in health sessions for mental health and physical health take place.
Since May 2022, 51 visits around the force have taken place utilising Oscar Kilo vans. We have incorporated mini health checks and ‘drop-in service’ with psychological therapists, resulting in 3,694 visitors receiving clinical, wellbeing and psychological support. This has already identified several health issues, including raised blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and individuals then being referred to investigate further via their primary carer when appropriate.
116 individuals have attended a two-day wellbeing offer break at the Ben Fund since last year. The offer includes a programme consisting of Pilates, holistic treatments, meditation.
Closer working relations have been developed between the OHU staff, employees, and managers to reduced stigma and improve engagement.
Data from the employee assistance programme demonstrates good employee access.
The occupational health nurse advisors are assigned to different strands/areas of policing and work in partnership with HR business partners to tailor health promotion to local needs.
The occupational health team have worked in partnership with a local pharmaceutical company and have delivered a flu immunisation programme for the last three years. This has been well received by the force.
Occupational health: Runner-up
Project: Wellbeing bites
Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police are part of a Tri-Force Alliance (BCH) and have a number of specialist and collaborated functions.
The occupational health function needed to extend their services as they were experiencing high demand beyond their normal hours of business. By developing the ‘Wellbeing Bites’ programme using a digital platform they were able to grow their offer without the need for recruiting more staff and impinge on valuable clinical time.
The main objective of the wellbeing bites project was to create a quick reference self-help library of resources that staff could access easily to encourage self-care and reduce the reliability on OH practitioners. The creation of the ‘Wellbeing Bites’ project also addresses the new working ‘normal’ by being able to reach those individuals who are home, agile, or hybrid workers.
Ministry of Defence Police
Project: MDPfit - Occupational fitness, health, and wellbeing programme
MDPfit is an occupational fitness, health, and wellbeing programme, which provides MDP officers with access to tailored support in the field of police health and fitness. MDPfit was developed to deliver National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) best practice health behaviour change supporting the MDP setting.
MDPfit commences with a five-day course that is officer-centred and provides an opportunity for participants to have time away from their operational duties to focus on their own fitness, health, and wellbeing. Course content includes a variety of workshops such as physical training ideas, training around work routines, healthy eating and shift work, injury prevention, and wellbeing.
Around 90% of the MDP officer compliment are authorised firearms officers (AFO-CT) and officers must achieve the Home Office AFO fitness standard for College of Policing firearms licensing.
MDPfit aims to support colleagues in an understanding and holistic approach, providing regular support over 12-months, which includes additional fitness, health, and nutrition workshops at weeks 6 and 12, and months 6, 9, and 12.
Accompanying the programme is the MDPfit resource, which is designed to support officers and staff to achieve role-related health and fitness. The MDPfit resource provides physical training plans, exercise video demonstrations, specific job-related fitness test support, and nutrition advice that is accessible for all MDP officers and staff.
The overarching strategic level outcomes are captured as the improvement in officers meeting the upper fitness level. In April 22, there were 360 AFO-CT not meeting the standard (14% AFO establishment) in Jan 23 this has reduced to 83 officers (3.7% AFO establishment).
This represents a significant improvement across the organisation. As a result, the force will retain its college of policing firearms licence. The granularity of MDPfit success is explored further below.
The MDPfit is not a tick box exercise, it is delivered by fitness instructors who are passionate about supporting colleagues’ health and fitness. It is officer-centred, which improves buy-in to achieve personal goals.
MDPfit supports participants and delivers on intended outcomes in several ways:
investment in fitness instructor (FI) development
delivery at regional hubs to ensure equitable access
developing content that is officer-centred with dedicated follow-up support
senior leader engagement.
The aim is to create an environment that facilitates positive health behaviour change and develops a fitness, health, and wellbeing strategy for enduring cultural change.
Greater Manchester Police
Project: Operation Manteline - Welfare strategy following on from the Manchester Arena Bomb
Operation Manteline is a unique psychological welfare support strategy was put in place to ensure all the officers and staff involved in the MEN arena bombing of May 2017, and the subsequent investigation and inquiry could access bespoke psychological support from their occupational health service.
The aim to ensure that there was, and remains in place, psychological support for officers and staff (including those who have now left or retired from GMP) who have been impacted by the arena bombing.
Operation Manteline is a forcewide offer of continuing support to officers and staff involved in the Manchester Arena Bombing. It includes:
1-2-1’s with a welfare officer / wellbeing practitioner
allocation to a named welfare officer if there is continuing psychological negative impact by the trial or the Inquiry to provide on-going support
a recuperative overnight holistic wellbeing stay at St Michael's Lodge to provide respite
fast track entry routes into the service for therapy - with no formal referral required, for up to 5 CBT sessions-dependent upon assessment, additional counselling sessions could also be provided through the EAP
Medico legal reports for court, prepared by a consultant psychiatrist, allowing for adjustments to be put in place to reduce levels of distress.
Success was demonstrated by providing full, holistic, and required support for any officers and staff who needed it during this time. They scaled up their provisions and created fast-track entry routes for support, as well as offering on-hand and consistent support throughout the inquiry to everyone who needed it.
Whilst the events of May 2017 impacted negatively on so many, they ensured that support was present to give holistic welfare support.
The occupational health and wellbeing service linked in closely with the command structure around the operation and support was activated accordingly.
The model is now being used as template for other psychological wellbeing initiatives, helping the organisation take a different approach to the welfare of offices and staff and is a real strength of positive action following on from a significant and traumatic event.