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The Covid-19: Are You OK? Pledge

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust supports the principles of the Nursing Times Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign.

are you okThis 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:

  • Weekly clinical drop in sessions with the Director of Nursing and AHPs
  • Psychological support to teams as required on a team basis but also on a one to one basis where needed
  • A telephone ‘listening line’ accessible to all staff in the Trust
  • Director of Nursing and AHPs has done regular clinical service visits
  • Bespoke drop in sessions for specific services and groups of staff for example, colleagues who are shielding, support for staff home schooling and others.

Staff are the heart of our organisation; they have ensured the NHS was not overwhelmed in the initial peak – often at great personal cost, and they continue to provide excellent and compassionate care to patients and their families. It is our responsibility to care for them, and to ensure that they are more than OK.

Support for our clinical staff is essential at this time and it is critical that we hear their voice and provide appropriate support and care for them. We endeavour to do this as an organisation and the ‘Are you OK?’ Campaign supports this further.

Steph Lawrence, Director of Nursing and AHPs

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