Last week, Help for Heroes highlighted the need to make sure long-term support is in place for the nation’s health workers fighting Coronavirus. We are delighted to have now been asked to contribute our expertise to a package of support being created for Nightingale and NHS staff.
“The NHS faces significant challenges as it battles against the COVID-19 pandemic. The stress for our nurses and doctors treating incredibly sick patients may be compounded by a feeling of vulnerability by those working in roles that are out of their previous area of expertise. This, combined with the need to wear personal protective equipment which restricts the normal methods of communication, has necessitated enhancements to existing staff welfare models and increased awareness of the importance of mental health support.
“The NHS recently released guidelines to optimise such support including lessons learned from military conflicts and preventative measures which charities such as Help for Heroes have helped to inspire. These have influenced the development of a comprehensive mental health care package at the Nightingale Hospital. It is hoped that the positive impact for troops mental health seen by the military when using TRiM and “buddy" systems may be adopted more widely in support of our front-line NHS staff. This is a great example of the transfer of skills from one profession to another!” – James Calder, Nightingale Hospital Clinical Lead
But we want to do even more to support our nation’s health workers.
That is why, from today, we are making some of our resources in preparing for, and dealing with, traumatic experiences available to NHS staff all around the country.
Our Field Guide to Self-Care is available for all the men and women working tirelessly in our hospitals right now. It is a resource of tips and tools our recovery teams deliver to veterans who have experienced traumatic events or have been affected by working in high intensity situations. The guide is broken down into three parts; Body, Emotion and Mind and can be worked through in one go or one at a time.
These resources are designed for, and produced with, wounded veterans – but the situations our NHS staff are dealing with draw many parallels to those our veterans will have faced on the battlefield and beyond. The challenges faced by those leaving the military due to illness or injury are often complex, and we believe that those who have already embarked on a recovery journey often have the best insight into what will help others.
We hope that it’s a useful resource for our NHS heroes, and for anyone else who may be feeling stressed or anxious during these difficult times.