Cash boost to support NHS staff’s well-being

By Chris Betteley   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 26th July 2022 1:46 pm
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Julie Brennan, Katie Barrett, Amanda Cardell and Sandra Edwards all work on the Bereavement Support Scheme ()

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SIX major new projects have been launched to support the health and well-being of the 12,000-plus NHS staff working across the Hywel Dda University Health Board area.

Hywel Dda Health Charities is funding the projects thanks to a £242,000 grant from the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal which raised more than £130 million to help with the impact of the pandemic on NHS staff thanks to the kindness and generosity of the British public.

The projects are providing a range of opportunities and support including ecotherapy retreats, Wellbeing Champions, bereavement support and training, staff rest areas, a lifelong learning fund, and arts in health and wellbeing activities.

And more than 2,700 Hywel Dda University Health Board staff across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire have already benefited from the projects.

One ecotherapy retreat for staff has already been held, with four more planned for 2022 and five for 2023.

The retreats have been specially designed for Hywel Dda staff and are aimed at those who are experiencing high levels of stress or who are at risk of burnout. More than 130 staff have registered to become Wellbeing Champions and 65 have already completed the induction programme.

Local initiatives that have already been developed by the champions include lunchtime Tai Chi classes, ward-based wellbeing libraries, and programmes supporting hydration, exercise and relaxation.

Two specialist bereavement staff support trainers have been appointed on a job-share basis to provide education for staff relating to death, dying and bereavement.

The grant funding will also enable new staff rest areas to be created as well as improvements to be made to existing rest areas.

The Lifelong Learning Fund has also been launched, which offers staff the chance to apply for funding to learn new skills to help them recover from the experience of the pandemic.

Arts in health and wellbeing activities are also being provided for staff with the funding.

Mandy Rayani, director of nursing, quality and patient experience for the health board, said: “During the pandemic, our staff have gone above and beyond and have worked to ensure that appropriate 24/7 care has been available to meet patient needs across our three counties.

“We are so proud of our staff and one of our priorities now is to support their rest, recovery and the restoration of their wellbeing.

“These six new projects to support staff wellbeing and recovery in the longer term have been well received by our teams.

“We are very grateful for the support of NHS Charities Together and the public through their donations.”

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