InterHealth Worldwide offer an integrated approach to staff health care

Associate People In Aid member, InterHealth Worldwide has launched new Good Practice Guidelines on Staff Health & Psychosocial Wellbeing, specifically focused on humanitarian workers.

The result of 23 years of implementing effective staff health care for relief, development and mission organisations, the guidelines offer practical advice to human resource departments, managers, and all those responsible for staff health care.

Recognising the “excellent Human Resource Guidance that has been set out in the People In Aid Code of Good Practice”, the Guidelines complement Principle Seven of the People In Aid Code of Good PracticeHealth, Safety and Security’ with an increased focus on the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of staff.

InterHealth’s Guidelines look to help organisations “prevent the preventable”, “minimise the consequences of the unavoidable” and “maximise the potential of people on the field”.

The Guidelines recommend three stages to organisations so that they support their humanitarian workers from the time of recruitment, to the full completion of an assignment:

Stage One - Prepare

“Assess the applicant’s physical and psychosocial health from a travel health and wider occupational health standpoint in relation to the specific details of their job, its associated tasks, its location and any travel they will undertake related to their job.”

Stage Two – Sustain

Ensuring there is ongoing communication/access to communication between health care professionals and those in the field.

Stage Three – Aftercare

“This important area of staff care is commonly omitted or neglected. This discontinuity of care can cause stress for returning staff, with its unintended message that staff may be seen as “disposable assets'.”

Commenting on the guidelines, People In Aid HR Services Team Leader, Maduri Moutou commented “These Guidelines are most welcome and importantly, give practical tips to organisations complementing the indicators set out in Principle 7 of the People In Aid Code. What is important to stress to all humanitarian and development organisations is that the deployment of staff is not the be all and end all of your health care requirement - the briefing and debriefing stages detailed in these Guidelines are essential.”

This ‘integrated approach to health care’ rightly advocated by our colleagues at Interhealth is incredibly helpful to organisations as part of a holistic approach to staff wellbeing;

Orgaisations must consider the full sprectrum of Health, Safety, Security and Wellbeing: from robust and relevant policies and procedures to people management systems and structures allowing organisational agility; from effective EAP (Employee Assistance Programmes to economic security (i.e. appropriate and fair rewards packages); from relevant R&R (rest and relaxation) policies to enhanced levels of communications and more.

The full Guidelines can be downloaded from the InterHealth website


People In Aid materials

People In Aid also offer a number of resources on staff care. Visit the Resource center for comprehensive manuals on debriefing staff, psychosocial care, and more materials related to Principle Seven. Last year our Humanitarian HR conference was themed on the topics of the health, safety and security of aid workers where Ted Lankester, Director of Healthcare at InterHealth Worldwide offered a personal perspective. His presentation highlights and more from the event can be found on the HHR resources page.


Date published: Thursday 24 January 2013


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