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Wellbeing support for health and social care staff

The Scottish government is asking what wellbeing support health and social care staff need the most from the recently- announced Winter Support Package.

Following the announcement of a further £4m for workforce wellbeing, health boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships are being invited to identify the services which would most assist their staff.

The £4m comes on top of £8m already provided through the NHS Recovery Plan, which will support the ongoing development of a National Wellbeing Programme, including a dedicated hub and helpline, confidential mental health treatment through the Workforce Specialist Service along with time and training for staff to support each other.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said: ‘As part of the £300m package of support for health and social care this winter, we’re bolstering staff wellbeing with an extra £4m to look after our most valuable asset, the people who provide the care we need through this pandemic.

‘We have engaged with health and social care staff around the country, to find out what they need most and how we can help them to get through the toughest winter they’ve ever faced.

‘Funding will be immediately available for hot drinks, food and other measures to aid rest and recuperation based on what staff told us they needed.

‘We are also continuing to engage with the workforce to understand what else would help them, with the possibility of developing more psychological support measures.’

woman in blue and white polo shirt standing on yellow flower field during daytime

Acting director of development and innovation, Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Laura Lamb said: ‘The SSSC welcomes the announcement of additional funding to support the wellbeing of frontline workers across social care, social work and health care.

‘The workforce continues to deliver high quality person-centred care despite facing significant challenges. They have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic. It is vital the workforce feel valued, cared for and are recognised for the life changing work they do.

‘Never before has support for the workforce been so important. Ongoing wellbeing support is essential if we are to have sustainable workforce for the future.’

Director of workforce at NHS 24 Jacqui Hepburn said: ‘Over the last 18 months in particular, staff have faced unprecedented challenges and pressures, both professionally and personally, but have continued to rise to these challenges every day, while delivering vital and safe patient-centred care.

‘Supporting the mental wellbeing of our workforce, as well as the physical, has always been a priority for NHS 24. To reflect the additional pressures during the pandemic, we established a dedicated online wellbeing zone which provides information, support and tips including financial advice, bereavement support, coping and self-care advice as well as a mindfulness section with access to Spotify playlists, podcasts and access to free apps.

‘Bespoke wellbeing areas were also introduced in centres giving staff access to a quiet and safe space to pause and reflect. Hot drinks vending machines were changed to ‘free’ and we provided food and snacks and Wellbeing Box so to support the health of staff over winter.

‘We continuously strive for new ways of supporting our amazing and hardworking team at NHS 24 and welcome this additional funding.’

Photo Credit – Luke Jones

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