Our NHS People

In conversation with…

Each webinar closes with a conversation between the participants where they can reflect on each other’s contributions and highlight what is key to them. A final summary also includes an outline of ongoing work.

Reflections from each other

Many reflections, including:

“have conversations about the support for professionals who might have some mental health symptoms not enough needs to require a mental health intervention but actually needs some support”

“[there are some] we call sub-threshold for formal psychological interventions but did need some support and really having to think about an accessible to support offer for that group.”

“kindness tolerance and flexibility are not three words that you’d expect to hear from a colonel in the British Army … but actually if your leadership on the ground your experienced of your team everyday is not kind tolerant and flexible actually we’re on a hiding to nothing, so let’s start there “

“secondary problems: that actually it may not be you know the immediacy of the you know the threat to life from the virus but it’s about coping with your difficult teenager or losing your job or you know all those things. [We] put our lives on hold whilst we’re dealing with the immediacy of this [outbreak] but there’s only a certain amount of time before all those things are going to catch up with us and so in the aftermath to this it may not be that people need help with you know dealing with their their thoughts of mortality in relation to the virus – it’s about the practical problems of sorting out, you know, the child who’s falling behind in their lessons or you know, the relationship that’s strained by living in a in a small house without a garden together and I think this sort of real life is the you know the stressor that we your face and therefore that is what we need to deal with.”

Ongoing developments – comments

“Peer-to-peer support: having someone to talk to – [it’s] recognized that it’s not always the line manager that is available [or] the right person to have an end of shift conversation with.  We want to make sure that teams really are getting the best experience so before you go home you’ve got someone to have that conversation with. This will be the REACT programme.”

“there’s been several people within the NHS and things like St John’s Ambulance who are using the principles of the TRIM system where you have people who are given a degree of training and and it’s not so much that you suddenly become the expert it’s so that you become somebody who’s emotionally intelligent enough to recognise is what the other person is going through and in some ways within the NHS you already have a population who are you know good at talking to each other and good at recognise those nonverbal cues and understanding where someone’s impression under pressure and someone mentioned it earlier but actually most of the problem is that giving yourself permission and being kind and recognise that you will need that yourself as well and so and I mentioned about psychological safety and I think again going back to leadership if if the leaders say that it’s okay for everybody to have these conversations and recognise and illustrate that they’re having them too then I think that filters down through the organisation and encourages that openness to you need to look within ourselves and to look to others to see how we can support each other and that’s what the peer peer support is all about just looking out for you”

Key points in the conversation that followed:

“it’s very difficult to pay attention to people virtually, especially if they choose to be avoidant of of the situation so just watch out for the silence by paying attention to your team functioning: don’t get out of the habit of doing the things that you would normally do around 10 times – coming together – having meetings… we try and have a coffee time once a week at least just to reach out and listen to people”

“it’s definitely about and just spending some time in that… connecting bit of people: how do I know what you need if I don’t talk to you? Don’t make assumptions that because people have not been donning the uniform and the PPE that they’re not going to be as effective as their colleagues who have. “

“People who are working in an ITU department who may be used to that pressure and working effectively as a team and it’s the normal team and everything that they might cope very well whereas somebody who’s in an unfamiliar environment… when you get somebody who you know gets sort of dropped into that situation for whom it’s not their normal, those people as we know they find it their perception of the problem is sometimes more … so recognising that the hugely valuable contribution of every single part of the team not just those who are not just donned up in gowns – I think that’s really important.”

“…so we’ve had staff that been shielded, we’ve had staff that have been redeployed into different settings and the things that we’ve tried to do – and I’m sure lots of organisations and teams have tried to do – is that we have a daily team huddle and we call it you know kind of a virtual huddle where irrespective of where we are we have an opportunity every single day to kind of link in with each other which has been incredibly important to stay connected.”

“…and the other thing that we’ve tried to do for people who are shielding we’re off for different reasons we’ve made sure that either appear or a line manager reaches out to them on a really really regular basis I think that’s incredibly important to make sure that they are still in mind even though they might not be there sort of physically.”