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The other day I noticed this on social media ‘we are all in the same storm, but not all in the same boat’ which for me really encapsulated the impact of the virus on all of us. Some might say it’s been disturbing, strange, chaotic and overwhelming. For the frontline staff it’s not just the concerns for the patients they are caring for but their own families and loved ones and it’s all very close to home.
To those supporting the frontline whether working in the command structures, a domestic on the unit, the administrator or volunteer all are feeling the stress not just of keeping the NHS going but of keeping their families safe and again, it’s all very close to home.
The staff who are now working from home or a hybrid of visiting patients and virtual meetings, carrying the stress of knowing many people are now waiting anxiously for surgery, treatment or supporting those who are shielding alongside caring for your family and it’s all very close to home.
The mantra keeps going round in our heads and we tell ourselves to keep going, deal with the fall out later, there is always tomorrow to get it sorted. Yet tomorrow never comes, just more work to be getting on with in a very different world than just 12 weeks ago. For some their partners may be furloughed or have lost their job and all the stress this brings. For parents with children at home concerned about the impact on their child’s wellbeing and their education. Work and home seem very close.
You would be right in telling me to stop writing about all the negatives, it’s just depressing, what about the positives. Well it does appear that some real positives have come out of this lockdown.
It has brought the health and social care workforce into more collaborative working, strengthening relationships and breaking down barriers. The public have also got to know the NHS and social care a little more, and of course the countless glimpses of brilliance we’ve seen of people doing what they can to make people’s lives just that bit better.
Workforce Wellbeing is complex but plays an important part in making work great, keeping the passion in what we do alive and to feel safe to challenge when things are not in line with our values.
For it to be OK to not be OK we need to value our wellbeing, and know what works for you, whether that is exercise, hobbies, socialising or if times get difficult to feel ok to seek help. For staff to feel safe and well, spaces are needed for wellbeing to thrive. From the Board to the front door a realisation that trauma and stress exist in the workforce, the recognition of the signs and symptoms of trauma and stress and responding to it through safe spaces, whether in supervision, wellbeing rooms or training staff in wellbeing and resilience.
Which boat are you in today and what helps you keep afloat?
To support staff across health and care during this time, the NHS nationally and locally have developed a range of wellbeing support and services to care and protect #OurNHSPeople. This includes a wellbeing support helpline, a 24/7 text message support service and free mindfulness apps.
Find out more and access the support here.
AQuA have also developed a number of wellbeing resources that are freely available. Our resources have been created to support staff across health and care in their emotional and physical wellbeing.
Psychological Safety Guide –Developed to support development of psychologically safe environments and effective staff wellbeing.
Getting Through video series – Developed by Rene Barrett, leadership and resilience expert, these short videos focus on staying positive and taking care of yourself.
Stress and Trauma Guide – developed to provide support for managers to support their teams and themselves with managing stress.
Restrictive Practice Guide – this outlines what restrictive practice is and how to reduce its use through COVID-19 and beyond.
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