Background The last decade has seen considerable changes in end-of-life care, with patients living longer and more complex lives. Palliative care staff have to respond and adapt to these changes. Working in palliative care is associated with the stress of caring for people and organisational life (Hospice UK, 2015). Employers therefore have a role in supporting staff to develop techniques to help them cope (Hill et al., 2016).
Aims To develop supportive services to develop and maintain hospice staff resilience
Method A multidisciplinary wellbeing steering group designed a programme of workshops to identify what clinical and non-clinical staff found stressful about their everyday work life and designed interventions to support them. There were common themes across the whole workforce. Initiatives were developed alongside current supportive services (i.e. clinical supervision). These were:
A booklet, ‘Looking after yourself’ supporting a resilient workforce given to all staff and all recruited staff
A non-clinical staff support forum established
A week designated as ‘Resilience week’ with range of workshops offered
A relaxation CD devised by the therapy team, made available for staff as an MP3 file for free.
Findings 131 attended and 99 individual staff took part in 13 sessions. Of those attending 62% were non-clinical and 38% clinical. Eighty percent of those attending sessions said they would use strategies they learned from the sessions they attended.
Conclusions The engagement and interest during resilience week was extremely positive, we see this as the first of a series of initiatives. Embedding this initiative to safeguard to the mental health and wellbeing is essential and is the start of an ongoing initiative.
Implications for practice To build on the positives outcomes from resilience week more initiatives are required. e.g.
Working with ‘Mind’ to provide mental health awareness training.
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