We have asked employers around the UK to make a pledge to support the Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign. Health and social care staffing agency Medacs Healthcare has made that pledge:
Medacs Healthcare supports the principles of the Nursing Times Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign.
This means we recognise the often-distressing nature of caring for patients with Covid-19, particularly when patients numbers are high and resources are stretched. We also recognise the potential negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of nurses and other staff of working through the coronavirus pandemic, and are committed to providing support to those who are affected. We also recognise that the effects of this work may be delayed and/or enduring and will ensure support remains available after the crisis has passed.
In supporting the campaign we pledge to:
- Provide easily accessible formal mental health and wellbeing support to staff for as long as it is needed;
- 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, and ready to offer informal support such as listening and signposting to internal or external sources of formal support;
- Ensure that staff who are experiencing problems know that they will receive a positive, supportive response if they disclose problems, and understand that being asked ‘Are you OK?’ is a gesture of support and care, not an accusation of weakness.
We have already taken steps to protect staff mental health and wellbeing including:
- Providing free wellbeing webinars for nurses with topics like how to beat burnout and signposting support via the Joyful Doctor
- Providing access to wellbeing resources and financial cash grants, for nurses in hardship via our partnership with Cavell Nursing Trust
- Sending care packs, self-isolation kits and cards to nurses affected by the virus or isolating
- Communicating guidelines, updates and advice regularly, via our dedicated Covid-19 comms team
- Providing access to an occupational health team, with follow-up wellbeing calls
- Providing risk assessments using our best practice non-discriminatory stratification tool and offering safer employment alternatives for high-risk workers
- Incorporating wellbeing checks into our compliance process
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.
Trish Davidson, director of specialist staffing at Medacs Healthcare, said: “Caring for our healthcare workers is at the very heart of our brand values.
“We are extremely proud of the brave and tireless dedication our agency nurses have shown throughout this pandemic.
“Our teams are 100% committed to protecting their safety and wellbeing and ensuring they can access whatever support they need during such challenging times.
“We are also proud that the Chief Nursing Officer’s Black and Minority Ethnic Strategic Advisory Group has recently affirmed our approach to protecting nurses during Covid-19 as best practice, with our teams using a non-discriminatory risk assessment tool to ensure we safeguard worker rights and personal details.
“We’ve risk assessed over 2,000 healthcare workers to date and offered alternative safer work options to vulnerable workers to safeguard their incomes.
“We’re also proactively working with our NHS partners to ensure our agency nurses get equal support and protection on the front lines and access to tests.”