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Covid-19 support for staff leads to shortlists for two UK awards

Image shows two clinical staff in face masks and face shields looking out 

Main image: Two members of staff look out from the Respiratory Assessment Unit, which was established at Morriston Hospital earlier this year as cases of Covid-19 began to rise.


Two health board services that support staff health and wellbeing are in line for UK-wide recognition.

They have been shortlisted in Personnel Today’s National Occupational Health & Wellbeing 2020 Awards.

The Occupational Health Service is shortlisted within the Occupational Health Team of the Year (public sector) and the Staff Wellbeing Service under the Best Multidisciplinary Initiative.

Swansea Bay University Health Board is the only organisation within the UK entries to have two shortlisted nominations.

The occupational health team’s nomination is shared with public sector giants including the Army Regional Occupational Health Service and the Department for Work and Pensions and the wellbeing service sits alongside four other organisations including the John Lewis Partnership.

The nominations recognise the transformation of the health board's occupational health department from a slow, paper-based  and understaffed service which struggled to manage demand, to a more digital service, which was perfectly placed to cope with Covid-19.

Professional Head of Staff Health and Wellbeing Paul Dunning said: "I’m delighted to see the hard work of the wellbeing team and occupational health service recognised at a national UK level.

"The teams couldn’t have successfully supported the health board through the Covid-19 outbreak without the fantastic partnership with the chaplaincy service, communication team, learning and development, psychology and quality improvement teams plus the 30 plus staff that were deployed to occupational health during the first few weeks of the pandemic.

"This shortlist truly demonstrates the values of working together to improve the health and wellbeing of staff."

Pre-Covid transformation of the department - which included extra staffing, better training and technological solutions such as the transfer of 25,000 paper records to an online system - meant it was well placed to meet the rigours of the pandemic.

As the pandemic took hold a steering group made up of senior managers from staff wellbeing, counselling, psychology, chaplaincy, learning and development and service improvement was established to re-engineer the wellbeing services.

Multi-disciplinary task and finish groups were implemented, led by the most appropriate person regardless of grade or profession, which enabled leadership skills to be utilised and developed.

Other developments included:

  • Joint working arrangements which allowed extended service delivery, from 7am to 9pm, seven days a week.
  • A more efficient ‘One Plus One’ model, in which everyone accessing the service received a ‘listening ear’ telephone appointment plus one follow-up if needed.
  • Therapists and counsellors working together to develop clinical pathways for cases of trauma and bereavement, ensuring that this specialist support has been received when needed.
  • Colleagues from the psychology department helped to provide wellbeing support for whole teams across the health board. They developed a 12-week mindfulness programme, which staff can access via the health board intranet and social media feeds.
  • Working with colleagues from the Armed Forces and the service improvement team to implement TRiM (Trauma Risk Management), which encourages peer support for trauma.
  • Innovative working to deliver sessions remotely using communications technology.

The award winners will be revealed in October by Personnel Today, both in print and online.





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