Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has become the first acute provider to sign a pledge supporting the principles of the Nursing Times Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign.
The Yorkshire hospital trust signed up to support the campaign, after its director of nursing, Jackie Murphy, responded to a call made by Nursing Times to an initial group of trusts.
Nursing Times launched the Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign in April to first raise awareness of the mental health pressures and wellbeing needs of nurses during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is our responsibility to care for you, and to ensure that you are more than OK”
We have now launched the second phase of the campaign, which involves actively asking employers from the health and care sector to back the aims of the campaign.
As a result, we aim to contact the majority of NHS acute, specialist, community and mental health providers in the coming weeks to see if they will sign the campaign pledge.
In signing up to support the campaign, employers are pledging to provide easily accessible formal mental health and wellbeing support to staff for as long as it is needed.
They are also agreeing to foster a culture of mutual support, in which staff are alert to the possibility that colleagues may be experiencing problems as a result of their work during the pandemic.
In addition, they are pledging to ensure staff experiencing problems know they will receive a positive, supportive response by disclosing them and that it will not be viewed as a sign of weakness.
Thank you very much to Barnsley Hospital for leading the way by becoming the first acute provider to sign up to the Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign pledge.
Barnsley Hospital’s director of nursing and quality, Jackie Murphy, said: “Staff are the heart of our organisation.
“You have ensured the NHS was not overwhelmed in the initial peak – often at great personal cost, and continue to provide excellent and compassionate care to patients and their families.
“It is our responsibility to care for you, and to ensure that you are more than OK,” said Ms Murphy.
“At Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust we recognise and truly believe our people are our biggest asset and it’s imperative we care for them so they feel equipped to care for others,” she added.
Earlier this month, specialist provider, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, became the first employer to sign the pledge to support the principles of the campaign.
A Nursing Times survey of 3,500 nurses undertaken for the campaign’s launch found that 33% of respondents rated their overall mental health and wellbeing as “bad” or “very bad” and 50% described themselves as “a lot” more anxious or stressed since the pandemic.
The mental health of clinicians during the pandemic has also been the subject of reports and surveys involving the King’s Fund, the Laura Hyde Foundation, the British Medical Association and others.