Oct 07, 2020
Since February, staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have worked tirelessly to care for Londoners during the COVID-19 pandemic, often isolating from their own families to protect them.
We know that the welfare of staff is key to delivering the best possible care for the Trust’s patients. That is why a key focus of our support during the COVID-19 pandemic has been on how we can better support their physical and mental wellbeing. Over the last six months, we have expanded our support for the Trust’s wellbeing programme, Showing We Care About You, and we have funded the Spiritual Health Care team to provide additional support for colleagues who have experienced bereavement during the pandemic.
Research shows that up to half of all healthcare workers will experience symptoms of mental illness during a pandemic, with the most acute symptoms sometimes presenting up to three years later. It’s important that we continue to support the psychological wellbeing of staff as we begin to recover from the last six months, so that reduce the likelihood of them developing longer-term mental health conditions.
To make sure we can meet this challenge, we are funding a comprehensive psychological and spiritual support package. Led by Dr Neil Rees, the Trust’s lead psychologist for staff health and wellbeing and Revd Mia Hilborn, head of spiritual health care, the programme will focus on those of greatest risk of developing a mental health condition.
Dr Rees said: “NHS staff are disproportionately affected by stress, anxiety and depression. Whilst many healthcare workers managed the stress and challenge of working through the COVID-19 pandemic with support from families and loved ones, some colleagues will have persistent psychological difficulties.”
Revd Hilborn explains: “Nobody has experienced a time like this before, and many colleagues will feel the ground has shifted underneath them. This is why spiritual care is important to remind colleagues how valuable they are to the communities they care for.”
The package of support has been designed to meet the needs of the Trust’s diverse workforce. The services offered will be accessible to all colleagues - this includes specific plans and resources for staff working for Essentia, the Trust’s facilities team and those working at community sites across south London.
“The programme of support we are delivering in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity will ensure all staff – regardless of their role, background or seniority – can reconnect with their psychological resources, confidence and values after exposure to highly challenging situations,” continued Dr Neil Rees.
We know that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) healthcare workers, and those on lower incomes are disproportionately affected by both higher rates of mortality from COVID-19, and impact on their psychological wellbeing.
To help address this, a BAME Access Psychologist will be available to staff from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background. This has been made possible with funding from NHS Charities Together through the generous donations from the public to their COVID-19 appeal.
The service provided by the BAME Access Psychologist will be co-created with BAME colleagues across the Trust to deliver accessible and culturally relevant approaches to supporting staff wellbeing. It will not replace but instead support and strengthen the other elements of the psychological and spiritual support programme.
As the charity for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, we are committed to support the wellbeing of staff and patients through the pandemic, and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic is like no other time for Guy’s, St Thomas’ and Evelina London hospitals. Find out more about how you can support the staff and patients at our hospitals as we recover from the Coronavirus crisis.
28 June, 2020
Supporting the Simulation and Interactive Learning Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to purchase a more reliable, state-of-the-art patient simulator and several airway manoeuvre training manikins.
11 June, 2020
Our decision to remove the statues of Thomas Guy and Robert Clayton from public view.
23 March, 2020
We, like so many others, are deeply motivated to minimise the impact of the pandemic both on our local communities and on the partners we work with.