Support available for NHS staff

health, safety, wellbeing

Supporting your staff is now more important than ever. Below you will find resources, offers and toolkits that will help yourself and your team during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discounts for NHS and social care workers

We have compiled a list of national discounts and priority shopping times available for NHS staff. NHS England has also compiled a list which includes both national and regional offers. 

National wellbeing support – updated 11 March 2021

NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI) has a suite of resources to support NHS staff wellbeing while looking after others during this difficult time. The current offer of free access to a range of mental health apps is available to all NHS colleagues until 31 March 2021. A number of these apps will end their free offer, as currently advertised, on the 31 March 2021. Please take a look at NHSEI's web page for information on which apps will still be available and their expiry dates.

The following marketing materials are now available for download and use across your organisation to help promote wellbeing. Each of these are designed to help you manage your own health and wellbeing whilst helping others:

There are also a range of posters:

NHS England and NHS Improvement is offering NHS staff free access to psychological and practical support and have compiled a useful Supporting Our NHS People with all the information. This includes:

  • A free wellbeing support helpline on 0800 069 6222, operated by the Samaritans and available from 7am – 11pm, seven days a week, providing confidential listening from trained professionals. 

  • A 24/7 text alternative to the above helpline - NHS staff can simply text FRONTLINE to 85258.
  • A confidential bereavement support line, operated by Hospice UK and free to access from 8am – 8pm, seven days a week on 0300 303 4434

You can access more information and guides on bereavement support during COVID-19

Beat COVID: Get Prepared

Get prepared is an online campaign designed to help healthcare workers keep a healthy mind and body during the COVID-19 pandemic. The content is regularly updated and includes mindfulness, home workouts, yoga, sleep tips and nutrition advice, all geared towards quarantine and COVID related issues. Contributors include frontline staff who have kindly volunteered their time, and members of the British Medical Association.  

Bridge4 Exercise with Physios

Access free live online classes, via Zoom, to help everyone exercise during this difficult period. There are classes for every level of fitness with on-screen physios.

Duty To Care

NHS workers can access free online sessions to improve and sustain mental health and wellbeing by registering on the Duty To Care website. Content includes help and support from CBT therapists, psychotherapists, mindfulness teachers, meditation experts, breath work experts, homeopaths, immunologists. nutrition coaches, hypnotherapists and healers. Duty To Care covers the costs through fundraising.

Mental wellbeing

How are you feeling NHS? toolkit is an easy-to-use resource that was developed with NHS staff to encourage conversation in the workplace and enable us to talk openly and regularly about emotional health.

Every Mind Matters is here to help you manage and maintain your mental health.

The charity Mindin association with the Royal Foundation and partners, provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Mind has a range of suggestions that could help your wellbeing during this difficult time including this guidance on:

Coronavirus and your wellbeing for supporting yourself and your colleagues.

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has created a free e-learning package in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) which is available to all. It includes programmes on mindfulness, and mental health and wellbeing.


Project5
will give NHS staff access to free one-to-one support sessions with either accredited clinical psychologists, mental health experts or coaches, via an online booking system.

Harley Therapy is offering free therapy sessions for NHS workers from qualified therapists. The sessions cover psychotherapy and counselling.

Frontline 19 is offering free online wellbeing support sessions with therapists including psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists, to support frontline staff, working in partnership with Helpforce. 

NHS Practitioner Health is supporting the mental health of doctors with a range of free tools and resources.

Zero Suicide Alliance have launched a training module called Step Up, the module is designed to help give you the skills to help someone who is struggling with isolation and loneliness.

REACT mental health conversation training - NHS managers, supervisors, and those that care for NHS staff can access free training to help them identify team members that are struggling with their mental health and learn how to confidently initiate a supportive conversation. The free training sessions last up to 90 minutes and are run remotely. Click on the link to find out more including how to create an account and book a time that's suitable for you.

Physical activity

The One You website highlights the importance about health and encourages you to make changes to manage and maintain mental health. You can take online quizzes to:

  • see what your heart age is and how to improve
  • calculate your BMI
  • discover simple steps to being more healthy.

It also has information to support you with your blood pressure, diabetes checks and where you can access NHS health checks.

#DoingOurBit fitness platform
A new wellbeing initiative that offers free virtual fitness classes specifically to NHS staff has been set up by West Midlands Clinical Research Network (part of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust). NHS staff can access a collection of fitness videos to do at home to keep up their fitness and encourage a more active lifestyle.

Financial wellbeing

The government has provided information and guidance on what financial support may be available to you.

Step Change provides free advice and practical solutions on debt and how it affects you.

The Money Charity aims to help people to better manage their money.

Money Saving Expert
has dedicated financial information for COVID-19 including:

The Debt Advice Foundation is a registered national debt advice and education charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about loans, credit and debt. 

Domestic violence

Refuge is the UK's largest single provider of domestic and gender-based violence services.

The National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge, is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.

Relate provides relationship support for people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations. 

Carers

Carers UK supports carers through expert advice, information and support. Read the charity's advice on:


Health Education England’s
e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) team has worked with Carers UK to develop a free online resource to support the vital care that unpaid carers provide.  The Supporting Unpaid Carers e-learning resource is for everyone who provides care and support to a family member or friend due to their disability, health condition, frailty, mental health problem or other health and care needs.

It is available on HEE’s e-LfH website, offers a variety of e-learning sessions, with expert advice from Carers UK, resources, guides and videos to support unpaid carers.

NHS volunteers

Health and care staff working in frontline services can now get help with essential tasks, such as shopping and collecting prescriptions, from NHS volunteer responders. The service is designed to help staff working at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic so that they can continue to support those most in need at this time. Find out how you can access support from volunteer responders for yourself and your staff.

NHS staff common rooms  – updated 11 March 2021

Provided by NHS Practitioner Health, the NHS staff common room were an opportunity for NHS staff to come together on a regular basis and support each other. Following feedback from NHSEI’s regional health and wellbeing teams, they have taken the decision to pause the current common rooms offer from 1 April 2021. This will enable them to learn from the last year and work with local systems to understand need and explore more localised provision and delivery.

Wellbeing posters

The Intensive Care Society has a wellbeing and psychological resource library containing posters that include tips for self-care, how to manage personal wellbeing, how to improve the workplace and when to ask for help. 


Family guidance

Communicating with children about COVID-19

Key worker parents and carers may be facing the pressure of having difficult conversations with their children and families on their role as a key worker, and how this may impact on the safety and dynamics of their family.

In collaboration with clinicians at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England and NHS Improvement has published written and audio guidance for key workers that will support them in having those difficult conversations, including considering when is the best time to talk to children about their role, and how to explain why they are still working when other parents might be at home.  

The NHS Library and Knowledge Services team at Health Education England (HEE) has brought together a suite of resources to help frontline staff talk to patients and families about COVID-19.

The free resources include information aimed at young children and are suitable for staff working across health and care, voluntary and educational sectors, and provide trusted and reliable information about COVID-19. The resources are available in a range of formats including easy read, sign language and Makaton. The materials and can be used with patients, service users, carers, and parents with a disability, impairment, or sensory loss.

The materials are available at the NHS Library and Knowledge Services Coronavirus resources page.

The Help Hub

The Help Hub for families & friends has been set up to support members of the public who may need someone to talk to or listen to them. The network of therapists aim to provide a free service for as many people as possible by listening, supporting and helping where they can. This may be particularly useful if your family or friends are expressing anxieties and need someone to discuss these with, other than you.

PACEY

The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years provides practical information for families and carers, and those advising them. The organisation welcomes queries around COVID-19 and support for keyworkers and their families.

Supporting our working carers
 
There are an estimated 250,000 unpaid carers working in the NHS, and balancing work and caring responsibilities can be hugely challenging, both practically and emotionally. COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact too – with carers often looking after relatives or neighbours who are vulnerable, whilst also facing a more stressful time at work. If you’re a carer, or supporting a working carer in your organisation, you can use the Working Carer’s Passport to have a conversation about caring responsibilities and access practical tools, useful resources and further support online.

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