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Supporting staff with prompt, easily accessible psychological and wellbeing support

To provide easily accessible local psychological and wellbeing support to staff, supported by line managers to promote and support a healthy attitude and work based culture on a daily basis

Read comments 4
  • Proposal
  • 2020

Meet the team


  • Pamela Kirkham
  • Kate Giles

What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

There has been a Trust wide increase in staff seeking support since April who have been impacted by COVID-19 with many attending drop in clinics.

The presence of a localised staff Counsellor, in ED, providing twice weekly drop in psychological and staff wellbeing support sessions

The service has evolved as we have come out of lockdown through collaboration with the ED team, nurses and doctors. The pre-existing ‘coping’ culture of ED has evolved and discussions about having chats with the staff counsellor and clinical psychology are much more common place. We debrief with more frequency and have a healthier attitude and culture in the ED.

Before psychological support was physically present in the ED, very few members of staff from ED would access the service in fear that they would be considered unable to perform their role or be seen as “weak”. Throughout covid-19, many more have accessed the service.

What does your project aim to achieve?

The idea of this project is to look at how we can use this positive impact of visible localised psychological support in the ED to go to other areas in the hospital.  We wish to extend this offer to our paediatric team, theatre staff and encourage our BAME community too within these new areas and ED to ask for support.  Anecdotal evidence has confirmed that our paediatric colleagues have a high rate of burn out in the consultant body.

Anecdotal feedback for this service has been excellent and research within this area has shown the positive impact of psychological support so it would be great to provide a uniformed service across the hospital.

We would also like to  develop the ‘thinking pitstops’ initiative across the Trust to provide a listening space for all staff to access, following attendance and experiences by other Trust staff of accessing this service.

How will the project be delivered?

We would look to appoint a member of staff to run this service in these areas initially.

First we would look at formalising the change that has occurred so far. We would also need to look at data collection and review our measures for demonstrating improvement. We would then have to identify key stakeholders in a few specialties, e.g. paediatrics, theatres, BAME and identify the team to take this forward. We would have to look at what service could realistically be delivered, then we would aim to reproduce the process in ED with these specialties, adjusting it to the needs of these specialties and should we be able to expand this within the time available, identify suitable other areas.

We would work with our comms team to develop publicity material, through a combination of mediums to engage with staff to realise that it is ‘ok to not be ok’.

How is your project going to share learning?

We would share learning within the hospital with bulletins and specific sharing events. We would also be able to produce infographics to show the processes that we have been through, results of information gathered and would be able to share this through twitter and so share through a national platform. There is also a regional patient safety and quality improvement event which we would be able to share our findings.

We would look to ensure that our learning is shared with other Trust departments and as part of the wider Health and Wellbeing strategy.

We would look to identify how this approach can be shared across the wider local system/STP/ICS

We would look to encourage and empower those who have accessed the service to provide testimonials on the benefit of attending and the impact it had on them.

How you can contribute

  • Support for publicity material
  • Are there other similar approaches in other areas that could discuss and join learning and therefore look at extending scope of original ideas
  • What measures have other Trusts used to demonstrate impact and benefit that are offering similar supportive services for staff

Plan timeline

31 Dec 2020 Collate existing evidence and review measures
30 Jan 2021 Continue to gather feedback
31 Jan 2021 Write up evidence received to date
30 Apr 2021 Appoint staff member (if funding successful)
31 May 2021 Identify key contacts and agree roll out in new areas
30 Jun 2021 Comms plan and associated work
31 Jul 2021 Go live in new areas


  1. Hi Emma and team,

    It's fantastic to read about the visibility of staff wellbeing initiatives in clinical areas like ED!

    I'm one of the collaborators of the 'Start Well>End Well' project that Pete mentioned (thanks for putting us in touch, Pete). I was reading through your proposal and found it aligned really well with our project idea (

    Our project is looking at adding an adaptable team component on to the already existing individual staff wellbeing services available in our Trust as well as hopefully across other Trusts. Can I just clarify - is your project aiming to provide services targeted at the level of the individual? If so, we'd love to get your thoughts on how we could ensure that there is synergy between individual and team level psychological wellbeing initiatives.



    1. Thanks Emma, that sounds like a good plan. We’d love to hear more about what the project team has done so far and where you’re headed. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be learning about the staff wellbeing initiatives happening in other Trusts.

      Our ‘Start Well>End Well’ procedure has adaptability at its centre, so getting some insights from your team about the different staff groups you’ve worked with so far will really help us to think about how we can tailor the procedure to different teams.

      Speak soon,


    2. Hi Claire

      Thank you for your comment, I will review your application and see what synergies and opportunities there are for us too and it would be good to be able to continue to talk with you and put you in touch with contacts here at SFT who are leading on the actual piece of work.  Our approach has very much been focusing on supporting the individual within teams and we are hoping to be able to extend this offer out further to others who have identified the benefit this would provide to them and colleagues.

      Thank you Pete for putting us in touch with each other.

  2. Hi Emma,

    Myself and my colleague Emma Adams (Health Transformation Partnership) are supporting the Health Foundation this year by fostering conversations between Q members and encouraging collaboration. We were Exchange applicants last year, so we’re hoping that our experience can help others, as their ideas develop.

    I noticed when reading a number of project ideas focusing on staff well being, that there are some commonalities between your project idea and the idea, '''Start well>end well' enhancing psychological safety team effectiveness and well-being" They are looking for a critical friend. Perhaps you could provide this by commenting on their idea and vice versa?

    Best wishes,



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