Before we talk more about the resources for NHS workers, we would like to take the opportunity to thank each and every single NHS worker who is showing bravery, resilience and passion for caring for others.
You are our heroes.
The NHS employs over 1.5 million people and we have seen thousands of medical professionals and volunteers join the NHS to help fight COVID-19.
The British public’s gratitude is strongly evidenced in a variety of ways from social media campaigns where individuals are tagging friends to run 5k and donate £5 to NHS Charities to War Veterans who have set up just giving pages and raised over £27 million.
That being said, we are aware that this a both a worrying and stressful time. So, ID Medical want to support you as best as possible through this time of uncertainty. This blog post will share a range of resources for NHS workers to provide them with the support they need to get them through this battle.
As NHS workers, you will be working long and tiring shifts, caring for the needs of others. However, it is important to pause for a moment to collect your thoughts as tending to a pandemic can be taxing. It’s normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed during uncertain times but you must prioritise self-care to help you care for the needs of the nation.
Ways to successfully exercise self-care include correctly fueling your body, practicing mindfulness, daily exercise and staying connected with friends and family. Nevertheless, our NHS people are doing extraordinary things in the face of an extraordinary challenge and so, they will need an extraordinary level of support during this time.
Nationwide Psychological Support
NHS Staff Hotline
A wellbeing support line named #OurNHSPeople launched in early April to provide peer to peer, team and personal resilience support. You can reach them on 0300 131 7000 and it is available from 7am to 11pm, seven days of the week. If you need support outside of those hours, please text ‘frontline’ to 85258.
There are also plenty of other mental health hotlines you can contact, including the Samaritans. You can call them for free at any time on 116 123. Or if you would prefer to write down your thoughts and feelings, you can write them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will get back to you within 24 hours.
If you have any questions or concerns about your own individual safety or the safety of a patient, we suggest contacting the BMA – the trade union and professional body for doctors in the UK. They can provide you with advice and the right contacts for any of your queries, free of charge.
You can also contact your Royal College or relevant Society for advice, support and guidance. Some of these organisations offer mentor schemes, to provide you with regular support.
This is a non-profit organisation offering psychotherapeutic intervention to doctors across the UK. The service is based in London but appointments can be carried out via Skype or FaceTime. They offer up to six sessions of one to one support by a Consultant Psychiatrist.
Doctors Support Network
A charity run by volunteers which provides a peer support network for doctors and medical students with mental health problems including stress, burnout, anxiety and depression. This is a free service which relies on donations. With this network, you can access forums, events and online articles.
Social media will prove a powerful tool during this pandemic as it allows healthcare professionals to share information, thoughts, and feelings and the opportunity to promote specific health behaviours to the general public. Most importantly, social media allows medical professionals to develop a community, helping tackle loneliness and a sense of belonging.
Facebook offers a range of useful and active groups to provide guidance and support. Namely, COVID-19 Emotional Support Group, COVID-19 Support, Big Up the NHS Staff Group, NHS Appreciation Group and Tea and Empathy. You can also join our ID Medical Facebook Group, The UK Doctor Network as we will be sharing a range of useful and supportive resources to help our ID Medical Family.
In recent weeks, we have also seen a fantastic online community grow on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Try searching on YouTube “Working on the NHS frontline” and you will get an insight into other healthcare professionals lives and you will soon realise that your feelings are similar.
Join our Facebook Group – IMGS: The UK Doctors Network
We post daily blog posts, updates, helpful resources for NHS workers and insights into how to successfully relocate to the UK and join the NHS! What’s more is you can ask us your relocation questions and get specialist advice and guidance on working in the UK as a GP! Just hit the ‘learn more’ button below!
During our pursuit of excellence, we need to show up mentally not just physically. People tend to train their body day in, day out but forget to take care of their mind to maximise their highest potential.
Head Space is a fantastic mindfulness and meditation app that has strong scientific evidence behind it to reduce anxiety and stress levels, in as little as ten minutes per day.
Tip – NHS Employers get free access to Head Space Plus until 31st December 2020.
A health and wellbeing platform, Unmind is designed by scientists to help individuals look after their mental health via a range of resources from audio, video and interactive content. The platform will allow you to keep a mood diary, try new exercises or if you need a little more social contact they offer 24/7 helplines.
Tip – NHS workers get free unlimited access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research reveals that chronic insomnia affects about 10-15% of adults, while another 25-35% deal with occasional sleep issues. The Sleepio app is the companion app for the Sleepio course, which uses an evidenced-based program to help resolve insomnia. The app can help its users fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply with fewer interruptions to their sleep cycles. Click here to register!
Utilise your NHS Trust It is also important to lean on your NHS Trust in question as there will be plenty of resources available within your hospital. This could include mindfulness sessions, yoga, cycle to work scheme, well-being sessions, courses on anxiety management and self-care, libraries of free resources and the opportunity for conflict resolution.
If you’re an NHS worker, who has any questions, worries or queries during this difficult time – please do reach out to us. We will also be here to provide support, day and night.