Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting KNEWS to 80360, or email
NHS staff all set for ‘Airelympics’
An NHS leader who served as an Olympic torch bearer visited Airedale Hospital to inspire staff taking part in their own ‘Airelympics’.
Mike Farrar, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, ran in the torch relay through the village of Dalton.
Mr Farrar informally met with the Airedale Dodgers, the hospital’s own running group, before his business meeting with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Bridget Fletcher on Friday.
The Airedale Dodgers recently staged a bed push and sold cakes at Silsden Gala, raising about £1,500 for the Manorlands hospice. They will be taking part in the Great North Run next month. Anyone wishing to sponsor them can visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/AiredaleDodgersGNR2012.
Staff at Airedale have been responding to David Nicholson’s ‘NHS 2012 Challenge’, which asks them to become more involved in sport or other healthy physical activity to coincide with the Olympics.
A spokesman for the hospital explained that improving the health of NHS staff was key to boosting morale, ensuring quality patient care and potentially helping the NHS cut sickness absence rates.
The theme of Airedale’s staff Airelympics is to ‘get active, get fit, and have fun’.
Justine Steele, director of organisational development and workforce at the hospital, said: “Each department is being asked to create a challenge which they will host for other teams to take part in.
“We would like everyone to get something out of it – even if that is enjoying spending time with someone they have not met before.”
Events being hosted include treasure hunts, bowling, rounders matches, hula hoop contests and teddy bear walks. The project will culminate in a staff day on Wednesday, when there will be an awards ceremony.
Mr Farrar, 51, said: “I’m delighted to see that the staff are taking up the NHS 2012 Challenge as I do believe that improving their health and wellbeing will have a positive impact on patient care – and becoming more active is one way to achieve this.
“The Olympics has been an inspirational event and a great catalyst to encourage many people, including NHS staff, to become fitter.”
Prior to working in the NHS Mr Farrar pursued early aspirations to play professional football and cricket.
He played for Rochdale FC and was a fast bowler for Littleborough Cricket Club. He was appointed to the board of Sport England in April 2005.