By Democrat reporter
“It’s a place to take a break from being a nurse and feel like a person again.”
This is just one of the positive comments received by the Health Board about the R&R hubs which were established to support staff wellbeing during Covid-19.
The Hubs were created at the beginning of the pandemic to give all members of staff the space to relax and recuperate away from their work environments. They were based on international learning where hospital clinicians working directly with the impact of COVID-19 benefited significantly from dedicated relaxation areas.
Each Hub has different spaces: Café Space for eating and drinking, Active Space with games and possibly gym equipment, Quiet Space for Relax/Reflection.
A survey of more than 700 staff has now given an insight into just how beneficial these Hubs have been at this crucial time.
Anne MacPherson, NHSGGC’s Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development said “There has already been much informal feedback about the benefit of the Hubs in recent months and this survey now confirms their success. Our staff have risen admirably to the challenge of Covid-19 and these Hubs have been invaluable in offering a sanctuary in these extraordinary times.
“The feedback makes it clear that staff very much wish these Hubs to become a permanent feature and I am pleased that our Board’s Endowment Management Committee agreed to support them until the end of September.
“This will give our teams time to develop a proposal for a sustainable model, taking onboard comments from the survey about what was most beneficial and what we need to think about differently. I want to thank everyone who has made them such a resounding success.”
Another resounding success was the Board’s ‘Project Wingman’ which saw over one hundred airline crew and pilots volunteer to join the Hubs, to provide a First Class service to hospital staff. Kitted out in full uniform, the airline staff have become a welcome feature of the Hubs while grounded from normal flying duties.
Anne added: ”Now as some of the airline staff start to return to work, we want to thank them and wish them well in resuming their previous roles in the months to come.”
Of those surveyed, 87% praised the pleasant environment, 65% enjoyed the quiet space it offered and 65% also enjoyed the welcome they received from the airline staff and our other volunteers.
Many of those questioned pointed to the Hubs offering a space away from the clinical area where they could re-group and find the strength to finish their shift. Others spoke of the valuable role of the chaplains and psychology service.
One doctor said they felt more efficient and focussed when returning from a break at the Hub and said: “Personally I feel much more supported, as rest areas for staff allow a sense of team spirit and comradeship to develop and be maintained.”