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11/05/20 13:00

Unique support for health and social care

New resources for staff, carers, volunteers and their families. 

Organisations from across Scotland have worked together to create a new platform to help health and social care workers and carers look after their physical and mental health.

Launching today, a new national digital wellbeing hub will enable staff, carers, volunteers and their families to access relevant support when they need it, and provides a range of self-care and wellbeing resources designed to aid resilience as the whole workforce responds to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).  

The hub is the first of its kind in the UK and its content has been created by trauma and other specialists in Scotland. Its launch follows the £3.8 million extra funding announced in March to increase the capacity of NHS 24’s mental health helpline services and expand digital therapies.

Specifically tailored to support the challenges being faced by everyone in health and social care, the hub will provide advice on self-care and personal resilience to help users to recognise their own ‘warning signs’. Comprehensive information about services and resources available at national and local level within NHS Boards, Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) and local authorities will also be available.  

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“This is a tremendously stressful time for our health and social care workforce and unpaid carers, juggling the demands of working in highly pressurised emotional environments with concerns for their own safety and that their families. We will do all we can to support them.

“The hub, the first of its kind in the UK, has the theme ‘You look after us, so we’ll look after you’ and has been developed with the support of a range of organisations, including professional bodies and trades unions. It actively encourages people to make use of available services such local NHS helplines for staff across health and social care services, including care home workers.

“Protecting health and social care staff, wherever they work, continues to be a priority for the Scottish Government and this includes doing all we can to protect people’s mental health. That is why, in addition to the wellbeing hub, we will also be providing staff with access to coaching and the opportunity to shape our future policies through a new Workforce Wellbeing Champion Network.”

Background

The National Wellbeing Hub went live at 0400 hours on Monday 11 May.

The Scottish Government has commissioned PRoMIS, a collaborative initiative between Scotland’s two specialist psychological trauma services, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Anchor Service and NHS Lothian’s Rivers Centre, to deliver the National Wellbeing Hub. PRoMIS has also been working with NHS Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships to enhance organisational capacity to respond to the psychosocial impacts of major incidents. This initiative was commissioned separately by Scottish Government as part of the National Plan For Major Incidents with Mass Casualties, May 2019.       

The Workforce Wellbeing Champion Network was established this month and brings together NHS boards, Health and Social Care Partnerships, local authorities and Scottish Social Services Council to promote the psychological wellbeing of health and social care staff across Scotland. It provides a forum to collect insight and identify the needs of the workforce which is then fed into the Scottish Government, and to share good practice across organisations.

NHS Education for Scotland is aiming to have 1000 hours of coaching for staff to maintain health, wellbeing and resilience available for a 12 week period. This will be embedded in a broader framework of provision.

The new mental health Clear Your Head campaign launched on 21 April to provide advice and support to help people cope during COVID-19. In March, the Scottish Government announced £3.8 million of extra funding to begin to increase the capacity of NHS 24’s telephone and online services and extend access to digital therapies. This includes £2.6 million to expand the NHS 24 Mental Health Hub and Breathing Space telephone helpline and web support service and £1.2 million to provide extra capacity for Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CCBT).