Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 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 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 this campaign, we pledge to:

  1. Provide easily accessible formal mental health and wellbeing support to staff for as long as it is needed;
  2. 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;
  3. 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

Mental health and Wellbeing booklet containing support advice and signposting for all colleagues

  • Structured and formal support through our Occupational Health Department
  • Schwartz Rounds
  • Listening Events
  • Debriefs
  • Access to Nightingale Foundation Forums
  • A “Wobble Room” for staff
  • Dedicated staff support line

Director of Nursing and Quality Jackie Murphy said:

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.

At Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust we recognise and truly believe our people are our biggest asset and it’s imperative we care for them so they feel equipped to care for others.