The next few months will not only be taxing on NHS staff in a physical way, but also in a psychological way. With this in mind, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is rolling out a range of support for our frontline and support staff.
Dr Jonny Gordon is an ED consultant working at the QEUH who has been instrumental on a new approach to support our staff in what will be a very difficult time.
He said: “As ED staff we are faced with what can be complicated and difficult end of life decisions on a daily basis. Because of this we have peer support in place for staff to deal with the emotional stresses of the job. This can range from a chat with a colleague after a shift through to more formal support when needed.
“As we take on the challenge of Covid-19, more and more staff will be faced with long and difficult shifts. There will be exceptionally challenging experiences that we will all have to deal with. Many of us may be working in unfamiliar environments and in unfamiliar circumstances.
“As an organisation our staff are our most valuable resource. We need to make sure we are equipped to deal with the extra pressures we face and provide as supportive an environment as we possibly can for each other for the times when we collectively or individually are finding things difficult.
“What we are facing is completely different to the major incidents we are more used to dealing with and as such we are mirroring successful models of staff support and hoping to roll out support hubs where all staff can come before or after their shifts.
“The first of these support hubs will be at the Queen Elizabeth, and we will roll the model out across our main hospitals across NHSGGC. Staff can use the hub for a coffee and as a place to support one another, listening to music or finding a quiet place to reflect on the day – while maintaining social distancing.
“These next few months will affect people in different ways. People will be expected to step out of their comfort zones in what will be stressful environments. We can and we will support one another and ultimately we will help each other to get through this together.”
Our community teams are also extremely important to us and we are looking at plans to help those teams too.
Isla Hyslop, Head of Organisational Development for Health & Social Care Partnerships said: “Our community staff will continue to do a great job in these challenging circumstances and in more scattered locations, so we will be looking to ensure more ‘virtual’ support is available for them.
“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have held Mindfulness sessions for staff through our Staff Health Strategy and we now hope to move these and also other support mechanisms online. Through our website, we will be supporting staff through the next few weeks and months and with Covid-19 related matters. There is information about keeping fit, money matters, dealing with stress and much more.”
Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Occupational Health Department also has a dedicated in-house Counselling service resource which remains committed to providing essential support to all staff groups. Further support for staff is also being planned and we will update you regularly on what’s available.