Our NHS People

The wellbeing offer

Dr Sonya Wellbank – The National wellbeing offer

Outline: This presentation is based on many sources from many experts who have been involved in crises: what people need in these times. This is about moving over the peak: the lead-up period; during; after. In the Active phase – typically not enough time to care for oneself when under pressure. In the Recovery – when having been involved in high-pressure decision-making thinking about how we process this afterwards.

The intention is that the Framework prepares people so staff can get the right support when needed.

This presentation from the webinar is included below.

Zoe [00:00:00] I’m now going to introduce you to Dr. Sonya Wallbank. She’s the clinical lead for the health and well-being offer. And I’d just like to introduce you to Sonya, and just to say her leadership over the last three weeks, she’s galvanized global experts, people across the world to get their knowledge, their expertise, to know about the evidence of how to make a fantastic national well-being offer to our health and care staff. So I’ll introduce you to Sonya. And please tell us about this wonderful national well-being offer. 

Sonya [00:01:25] So thank you, everybody. It’s a really great opportunity to be able to share with you what we’ve launched today is the national offer for staff in the NHS in England. We are working closely with our colleagues in Ireland, Scotland and Wales to get those offers galvanized. And we’re hoping that within the next seven to ten days, we’ll have a comprehensive package as well for social care. And I’m sure as I go through the offer, you’ll see the work behind this not just for ourselves, but our third sectors partners who have been amazing, not used to working at this sort of pace and scale and they’ve really stepped up for us. So a huge thanks to everybody that’s been involved. 

Sonya [00:02:13] So what I wanted to do was just take you briefly through how we’ve come to the decision of what frame we’re actually working in. We wanted to make sure that the offer that we have is a personal one. We recognise that staff at this time will need to access help that fits their individual needs and this will be different for each person. The frame of reference that I’m offering you here is a guide and will help us prioritise the work that we’re involved in and also understand what we think is coming next. 

Sonya [00:02:50] So what we’ve done is talk to many experts who have dealt with things like the response to the Manchester bomb and the London bomb, the Kings Cross fires, as well as those experts who’ve been involved in longer-term psychological responses. So Gulf War Syndrome, Ebola, an academic recently and 9/11. So this has given us a really broad view about what will people need immediately. One of the things that we should be thinking about now, what happens as the intensity of the work picks up? You know, you’ve probably heard a lot of people talking about the peak and the peak that’s coming. And then what happens after this? There’s no point in just thinking about, you know, while we’re in the eye of the storm, what will people need beyond that? 

Sonya [00:03:41] And so I have put together a framework around preparing people, making sure that people are aware of what’s to come. That those basic needs are being met. So as part of our Health and Wellbeing offer we’re absolutely focussed on transport, child care, accommodation issues, making sure that what’s happening in our local settings means staff are getting the right support when they need it. We know that through the active phase, some people, colleagues from London will recognise this, utterly intense and consuming periods of work. And you’re not able necessarily to think about your own health and wellbeing and how can we help you, prompt you, to be thinking more about yourself so that you can sustain your ability to come back and forth to work in the long term. 

Sonya [00:04:37] And then recovery, you know, thinking about those of us who have been involved in difficult decision making. Probably not ready for the work that’s been thrown at us, you know, everybody stepping up and beyond and for the work that they’re currently doing. And then just thinking about how we might process some of the experiences that we’ve been through.

Sonya [00:05:06] So we’ll share the slides afterwards so you can have a look at this. But what this has done, these three phases is really guiding what we think needs to happen and what services need to be available to intervene through those three stages.

Sonya [00:05:25] So what we’ve launched today is a website that you can access just by scanning the QR code. It’s people.nhs.uk for those of you that haven’t got the phone scanner today, and that’s available for everybody, those resources. So what we know is that resilience lies in teams. So we are very much focused on how do we help you manage and lead through the crisis. What things do we need to be doing differently? And we do involve a range of people to help fill those materials, not least of which Sandhurst Academy and who have been great, giving us some short and snappy tools. And you’ll hear from Neil and from Michael West today to share some of the work that they’ve been doing with us as part of his task force. 

Sonya [00:06:15] We then got the helpline set up from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., as well as a text line that you can access that’s actually a text conversation with the person that’s anonymous. Still, the cloud has been amazing. They’ve released all of their well-being modules for anybody working with the NHS and their families just by clicking on that link or scanning the linking and entering the code. And then I’m sure you’ve already heard about the mental health apps that have also released applications for free. 

Sonya [00:06:57] So what we wanted to do was make it really easy to start. We’re very much seeing our national offer as building on the fantastic work that local providers are doing. So not instead of complementing. We also know that some we are not very good I think as a group of professionals at seeking help, we help other people. We don’t do it the other way around. So we wanted to give you as many opportunities for a comfortable way of seeking the support that you need. So our front door is very much a helpline which the samaritans are supporting us with and Shout the charity is helping us with the tech support line. All of the way up then through the different doors where we’ve got offers again detailed on the website, Hospice UK have come together to partner with us with 200 of the hospices around the UK, to offer especially attentive care of bereavement support staff. 

Sonya [00:07:53] We’ve got the line manager and I’m team kind of upskilling with some really great hints and tips about what to do at the end of shift. And we’re currently developing a concept that we’re calling common rooms where you can drop in, be hosted by somebody with a psychological background and support, and know that that’s a safe space to have a conversation with people who may be going through similar stuff to you. And again, this is just the full detail of what we are intending to offer. I won’t bore you with the details of the webinar today, and that you can see what’s coming, and at pace, so that by the middle of May we’ll have the whole offer up and running. 

Sonya [00:08:42] There’s a feedback link. More than happy for you to to get in touch and tell us what you think. We’re very much seeing this as an iterative offer. We won’t have it all right on day one, and what we want to make sure is that we’re listening to you and that the national offer is responding to places that you see that there are gaps. I’m so pleased to get in touch.