Local Care Force supports the principles of the Nursing Times Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign.
This means we recognise the often-distressing nature of caring for patients with Covid-19, particularly when patient 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
- We have developed a COVID19 Nurse led task force which is available 27/7 ensuring all our workers have access to support and advice regarding COVID19 whenever they need it.
- Specialist 1:1 support is available from our Clinical Lead Nurse Amelia an RMN who has trained during the pandemic in COVID19 Psychological First Aid.
- Our project “Agency Workers, protect yourselves, protect your patients” continues to provide mentorship and support to all our workers via numerous resources including virtual training, clinical supervision and mentoring and the Agency workers survival guides.
- The “Address your stress” programme has continued to support our workers throughout the pandemic to support their own and their colleague’s mental health, spot signs of stress and help to manage and reduce symptoms of stress.
Staff are the heart of our organisation; you have ensured the NHS was not overwhelmed in the initial peak – often at great personal cost, and continue to provide excellent and compassionate care to patients and their families. It is our responsibility to care for you, and to ensure that you are more than OK.
Leanne Silverwood Managing Director of Local Care Force says:
Our commitment to the safety of our workforce is absolute, but our commitment to their mental health well being during such unprecedented times is also paramount.
Our courageous work force requires regular work, within an industry that depends on them, so immediate strict measures were imperative. Since March our responsive Nurse led COVID19 task force has minimised risk, tracked all symptoms, isolations, confirmed cases and risk assessed and advised workers how to proceed. Importantly this support has reassured our workers in addition to ensuring total transparency regarding confirmed COVID19 cases within the workplace, prioritising consistency and reducing cross site working.
Supporting our workers mental health to better enable them to support the vulnerable people they care for has always been at the heart of our philosophy at Local Care Force, therefore our task force have aimed to be supportive, promote inclusion and thereby reassure and build confidence by communicating updates regularly, changes to legislation & PPE, advice on well being and ensuring a consistent flow of work to ensure any financial worries are reduced.
We are so very proud of the resilience, courage and tenacity of our entire ‘work family’.