Health and Wellbeing

The pandemic experience has been immensely demanding and emotionally exhausting for colleagues across EEAST.  In common with the rest of the NHS, colleague resilience at all levels has been severely tested over the past two years. This highlights ever more clearly the urgent and high priority to develop wellbeing capability at individual, manager and leadership levels and to improve support to colleagues dealing with a range of wellbeing issues, in particular mental health challenges such as anxiety, stress, burnout, and depression.

For EEAST to be at its best, all colleagues need to have the personal skills and resources they need to manage their own wellbeing. Managers need to be mental health aware and have the confidence to talk about mental health issues at team level.  At leadership level, it is essential that the hard business benefits of wellbeing are fully appreciated, and that maximum effort is made to incorporate wellbeing enhancing policies, procedures and processes into the cultural delivery of the Trust.  

To respond to the challenges EEAST invested heavily in building its wellbeing capability and a new wellbeing team was created to help drive this effort, working alongside a non-executive Board member as a ‘Wellbeing Guardian’.

Key activities this year included:

  • Expansion of EEAST’s wellbeing team, recruited a new wellbeing manager, two additional wellbeing advisers and a business manager.
  • Removal of occupational health management responsibilities from the wellbeing team portfolio to maximise the team’s capability to focus on strategic, transformative wellbeing activities with greater focus on prevention.
  • We signed up to the blue light mental health at work commitment
  • Started a two-year headspace at work offer to colleagues which gave them access to the headspace app and a range of tools to assist with issues such as stress, focus, and sleep.
  • We provided six welfare support vehicles, one for each operational sector, to provide refreshments and wellbeing support signposting for colleagues experiencing long waits outside emergency departments.
  • We delivered an annual flu and COVID-19 vaccination programme.
  • An improved occupational health service offer and employee assistance programme.
  • Expansion of access to physiotherapy and psychological support through the occupational health service provider.
  • Trauma Risk Intervention Management (TRIM); a peer support programme designed to support an individual who has suffered an actual or potentially traumatic event in the workplace
  • Chaplaincy, with four volunteer chaplains being available to colleagues
  • Planning started for:
    • expansion of the wellbeing champions programme across the Trust
    • training over 500 managers in mental health awareness.
    • launch of an EEAST wellbeing network supported by a monthly newsletter and a Wellbeing Resource Hub on EAST 24.
    • Trial of a Ministry of Defence Resilience Training Package for Ambulance Operation Centre staff

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