Hundreds of staff have already taken up the offer of a wide range of support sessions which are being delivered by psychiatrists, spiritual care staff, coaches, the Keep Well Team, medical peer supporters, and some of the palliative care specialists. Together they have working as The Staff Support and Wellbeing Group.
One member of staff who accessed a one-to-one psychological first aid session reported: “There haven’t been many times in my life when I felt I needed to ask for the assistance of professional support, and it can never be an easy task for anyone. In this instance I cannot fault a single thing. The response I received was genuine, respectful and timely. I will always be grateful. I felt I got what I needed when I needed it. It may have only been a quick win for your service but it was a massive one for me, and I thank you so much.”
The Acute Medicine team have had a number of sessions with the Clinical Psychology Team to support their wellbeing during this challenging time. “It has been really useful to come together as a group to check-in with how we are doing, to gain understanding of our response systems and to develop ways to maximise our health and wellbeing – thank you very much Susie and Maeve!”
And members of the Emergency Department medical team have received communication skills training fromClinical Psychologists. This focused on sharing experiences and discussing communication techniques with patients, colleagues and relatives in the ‘new normal’ of Covid-19. They found it very beneficial to have the opportunity to share thoughts and experiences with colleagues in a supportive environment in the company of experienced and knowledgeable facilitators.
The Staff Sanctuary, which is based in the library on the second floor of Forth Valley Royal Hospital, has been running a variety of structured drop-in sessions to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff. Mindfulness is being offered in a variety of formats to enable staff to ground and the mindful movement session has proved very popular.
One member of staff who was redeployed found the transition quite challenging and, like many other people, experienced an increase in anxiety due to the reduced face-to-face contact with friends and family. As part of the support session, they were given space to describe and acknowledge their struggle, followed by a gentle, movement sequence. At the end of the session, they commented on the deep sense of relaxation they experienced and said they felt ready to go back to work.
To find out more about the wide range of support, information and advice available visit the Staff Support and Wellbeing section of the website www.nhsforthvalley.com/staffsupport or the Covid-19 section of the staff intranet.