ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0460.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; psychological wellbeing; workforce; peer-to-peer support; psychological first aid; wellbeing
Online: 22 February 2021 (11:37:12 CET)
Supported wellbeing centres were set up in UK hospital trusts as an early intervention aimed at mitigating the psychological impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers. These provided high quality rest spaces with peer-to-peer psychological support provided by National Health Service (NHS) staff volunteers called ‘wellbeing buddies’, trained in psychological first aid. The aim of the study was to explore the views of centre visitors and operational staff towards this COVID-19 workforce wellbeing provision. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were undertaken with twenty-four (20F, 4M) employees from an acute hospital trust in the UK. Interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed, data were handled and analysed using thematic analysis. Interviews generated 3 over-arching themes, and 13 sub-themes covering ‘exposure and job roles’, ‘emotional impacts of COVID-19 and ‘the wellbeing centres’. Supported wellbeing centres were viewed as critical for the wellbeing of hospital employees during the first surge of COVID-19 in the UK. Wellbeing initiatives require managerial advocacy and must be inclusive. Job-related barriers to work breaks and accessing staff wellbeing provisions should be addressed. High quality rest spaces and access to peer-to-peer support are seen to benefit individuals, teams, organisations and care quality. Training NHS staff in psychological first aid is a useful approach to supporting the wellbeing of the NHS workforce during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0375.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; healthcare workers; psychological wellbeing; mental health; wobble rooms; wellbeing centres
Online: 13 November 2020 (12:35:32 CET)
Supported Wellbeing Centres have been set up in UK hospital trusts in effort to mitigate the psychological impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers, although the extent to which these are utilised and the barriers and facilitators to access are not known. The aim of the study was to determine facility usage and gather insight into employee wellbeing and the views of employees towards this provision. The study included i) 17-week service use monitoring, ii) employee online survey with measures of wellbeing, job stressfulness, presenteeism, turnover intentions, job satisfaction, and work engagement as well as barriers and facilitators to accessing the Wellbeing Centres. Over 17 weeks, 14,934 facility visits were recorded across two sites (peak attendance in single week n= 2,605). Facilities were highly valued, but the service model was resource intensive with 134 wellbeing buddies supporting the centres in pairs. 819 hospital employees completed an online survey (88% female; 37.7% working in COVID-19 high risk areas; 52.4% frontline workers; 55.2% had accessed a wellbeing centre). There was moderate-to-high job stress (62.9%), low wellbeing (26.1%), presenteeism (68%) and intentions to leave (31.6%). Wellbeing was higher in those that accessed a wellbeing centre. Work engagement and job satisfaction were high. Healthcare organisations are urged to mobilise access to high-quality rest spaces and Psychological First Aid, but this should be localised and diversified. Strategies to address presenteeism and staff retention should be prioritised, and high dedication of healthcare workers should be recognised.