We have asked employers around the UK to make a pledge to support the Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign. The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust has made that pledge:
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust 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 during Covid-19, particularly when patient 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 training 20 staff as mental health first aiders, setting up a mental health first aid phone line (Mon-Fri), developing a half-day mental health awareness course, continuing to offer resilience training and individual coaching, and creating a staff wellbeing hub on the intranet.
We have also introduced a virtual forum called ‘Team Time’ (similar to Schwartz rounds), which offers teams particularly affected by Covid-19 a safe discussion space with a member of our psychology team. Support is also available via our Employee Assistance Programme.
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.
Liz Bishop, chief executive of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been incredibly tough.
“Our staff have done an exceptional job in circumstances that were unimaginable this time last year but that can take its toll, both personally and professionally.
“That’s why it’s so important that people know they can tell us when things aren’t okay, and that we provide the support they need. We value everyone working here as an individual and their mental health and wellbeing really matters to us.”