Health and Well Being

COVID-19 SURGE CAPACITY – STAFF HEALTH AND WELL BEING

Nursing and midwifery staff within Northern Ireland have demonstrated exemplary positivity and courage in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As professions we are hugely resilient and committed to providing the best possible outcomes for patients, clients and our communities, working as key members of the multidisciplinary team. Yet with the uncertainty and challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic it is normal to feel anxious and unsettled. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. As health and social care staff, we are often portrayed as heroes but even heroes often need help! Looking after your health and wellbeing is of utmost importance. Managing your mental health and psychosocial well-being during this time is as important as managing your physical health. Some key points that may help are:


  • FOR INDIVIDUALS
    • If you feel anxious or distressed watching, reading or listening to news about COVID-19, minimise your exposure by seeking information only from trusted sources and limit this to once or twice a day
    • Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies such as use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs
    • Rather, take sufficient rest and respite during work or between shifts, eat sufficient healthy food, engage in physical activity, and if possible stay in contact with family and friends
    • Access physical, mental health and psychosocial support services
  • FOR MANAGERS
    • Ensure that good quality communication and accurate information updates are provided to all staff
    • Provide regular supportive feedback particularly when staff are struggling to meet usual standard requirements
    • Monitor breaks and shift patterns to ensure staff are receiving sufficient rest
    • Where possible implement flexible schedules for workers who are directly impacted or have a family member affected by a stressful event
    • Ensure confidential feedback mechanisms are supported
    • Encourage team members to provide support to each other
    • Make sure information and contact numbers are readily available for staff to access direct advice regarding physical, mental health and psychosocial support services and facilitate access
  • HEALTH AND WELLBEING SUPPORT

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has created an e-learning programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is free to access, for the entire UK health and care workforce, including those working in the NHS, the independent sector and social care. The programme includes key materials to help the health and care workforce respond to coronavirus.

Content in the coronavirus programme can be accessed here and currently includes:

  • Essential Guidance from the NHS, Government, BMJ and WHO
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Personal Protection Equipment
  • Resources for Staff Working in Critical Care Setting