Our Trust takes the Nursing Times 'Are You OK?' Pledge

Trust leaders support the new Nursing Times campaign

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust pledges its support for the Nursing Times ‘Are You OK?’ campaign.

This means we recognise the potential negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of all our valued colleagues of working through the coronavirus pandemic, and are committed to providing support to those who are affected.

We also recognise that the effects of this work may be delayed and enduring and we will ensure support remains available after the crisis has passed.

In supporting the campaign we pledge to:

  • Provide easily accessible formal mental health and wellbeing support to colleagues for as long as it is needed;
  • Foster a culture of mutual support, in which colleagues are alert to the possibility that others may be experiencing problems as a result of their work during the pandemic, and ready to offer informal support such as listening and signposting to internal or external sources of formal support;
  • Ensure that colleagues who are experiencing problems know that they will receive a positive, supportive response if they disclose problems, and understand that being asked ‘Are you OK?’ is a gesture of support and care, not a suggestion of weakness or not being able to cope.

We have already taken steps to protect our staff’s mental health and wellbeing. Some of the key steps we have taken are:

  • Listening to feedback from staff about our Trust’s Covid response and developing a package of support via our dedicated staff wellbeing steering group
  • Developing wellbeing assessments so that staff can have an ongoing comprehensive compassionate conversation about their personal context and working environment, to understand what individual support is needed for them
  • Developing and promoting a dedicated staff health and wellbeing hub with a range of information and resources
  • Fostering a culture of compassion, inclusion and belonging where we support each other and encourage colleagues to ask for help as soon as it is needed. You can watch this short animation to learn more.
  • Promoting Occupational Health and Employee Assistance helplines where staff can obtain more in-depth support
  • Launching a private staff Facebook group ‘LYPFT Together’ as a safe space for colleagues to connect

Cathy Woffendin, the Trust’s Director of Nursing, Professions and Quality, said:

“2020 is International Year of the Nurse and Midwifery but in this extraordinary year we continue to celebrate and value the contribution all our colleagues make.

“They have worked to ensure that the NHS was not overwhelmed in the initial peak – often at great personal cost, and they continue to provide excellent and compassionate care to service users and their families.

“Support for our clinical staff is even more critical at this time and we have been listening to their voices.

“It is our responsibility to care for them, and to ensure that they are more than OK and we are proud to back the Nursing Times ‘Are You OK?’ campaign as our response to this pandemic continues.”