The Kirkwood multidisciplinary team (MDT) have embraced clinical supervision across all clinical departments and thus the clinical teams have felt supported and sustained whilst working through the pandemic.
The Kirkwood counselling team have provided supervision to MDT colleagues both in mixed groups and individually to staff. The concept of ‘Walk and Talk’ supervision was expressly developed as it was identified that sections of clinical staff felt increasingly isolated as they continued working remotely, from home. Staff who attended work on-site also felt equally isolated from colleagues as they felt a loss of and lack of sustaining contact with colleagues. All staff had to change their usual manner of working with attendant discomfort of routines.
Initially supervision was facilitated via video calls, however, not all staff had camera-enabled computers and this loss of visual contact was a huge barrier to engagement at depth. As this proved unsustainable, the idea of integrating nature focused, walking supervision took shape.
Counsellors took the NHS ‘Steps to Mental Wellbeing’ and adapted these to include:
Connecting with others.
A focus on being physically active.
A commitment to learn new skills.
A focus on gratitude.
Integrating mindfulness and paying attention the present moment.
By walking alongside colleagues, the supervisor created an environment where threat was minimised which enhanced maximum engagement. Colleagues felt that this activity resulted in them feeling less exposed and reported that they felt less self-conscious reporting material. The message on the NHS website was re-enforced within the supervision space by direct human presence and contact so that colleagues were not required to ‘rely on technology or social media alone to build relationships’.
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