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Supporting our colleagues throughout the COVID-19 response

During these challenging times, we are all having to adapt to many changes within our work and home life.

Teams across the Trust have been working hard to provide additional sources of support for all colleagues. We’ve introduced additional measures to help improve our wellbeing and to encourage self-care across the Trust.

These extra measures include the telephone support line, StaffLine, an online safe space through Workplace - our internal platform, and additional psychological support from Southampton Hospitals Charity, our psychology teams and Trust chaplains.

Psychology teams

Our psychology teams have also produced some short video clips with tools they would use to help settle patients who are experiencing difficult feelings.

Lead clinical psychologist Alison Pearce said: "We are starting to have conversations with many people across the hospital who have different reasons for feeling unsettled.

"We have put together some videos of techniques that we often use with people to help them feel more grounded.”

You can view the following videos on Youtube:

StaffLine

StaffLine is a telephone support service for all staff run by psychologists and other professionals who work at the Trust.

They can help with a one-off conversation about the effects that the pandemic is having on you, your colleagues or your family and provide any extra support you might need. The conversations are informal and confidential.

StaffLine is available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

  • 023 8077 7222 and ask for StaffLine
  • uhs.staffline@nhs.net

Safe space

Our online safe space was created to give us all an opportunity to breathe and to take time to look after ourselves. 

We created the 'safe space' group on our online internal platform, Workplace, so staff can access this from wherever they're working.

As a growing platform for wellbeing resources and staff-to-staff support, we have also hosted live video chats to talk about a variety of topics. As it's live, staff can also join in with the conversation by leaving comments and sharing the methods that have helped them.

Southampton Hospitals Charity

Southampton Hospitals Charity has been a key support for our colleagues throughout the pandemic with their support for the hundreds of the popular boost boxes that were delivered to staff, as well organising psychologist support for the StaffLine service.

Dr Liz Donovan, director of medical education, explains, “We anticipate there will be a huge need for one-to-one therapy for staff as they recover from this challenge of having to work in a traumatic setting with a lot of pressure.

"Some may have PTSD. They may be grieving family losses. They may also be burned out and exhausted. We have a lot of therapists, psychologists, counsellors, psychiatrists and coaches waiting in the wings with offers of help."

She added: “Whilst this service is essential to help staff cope now and in the coming months, the team are also mindful that it will be just as important to provide psychological help after the crisis is over.”

Chaplaincy teams

Another source of support are our chaplaincy teams. Our chaplains provide general pastoral support for professional or personal issues including bereavement support and workplace coaching.

Chaplains are available for any staff member who would like to talk to someone confidentially.

Appointments can be booked onsite via your link chaplain, or via:

  • chaplaincy@uhs.nhs.uk
  • 023 8120 8517
  • or by visiting the chaplaincy department on D level
    (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4pm)