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P-204 Battling burnout: Utilising our hospice complementary therapy team to support post-pandemic colleague wellbeing
  1. Janice Blakeway and
  2. Louise Gray
  1. Kilbryde Hospice, East Kilbride, UK


Motivation Healthcare workers were under extreme pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, which proved detrimental to staff wellbeing. In their research paper, Petrella et al. (2021.Gen Psychiatr. 34: e100458) concluded that ‘In order to mitigate the risk of burnout and post-traumatic stress, long-term, effective strategies that facilitate staff accessing support are urgently required.’

Purpose Kilbryde Hospice’s Complementary Therapists recognised the importance of utilising their skills to address the physical and emotional wellbeing of colleagues. The Complementary Therapy (CT) Team therefore established formal methods of support, available to all colleagues regardless of role. Given the considerable costs associated with staff absence, the CT Team sought to demonstrate how an existing service can be extended to provide effectual and cost-effective in-house support.

Methods The hospice CT Team (comprising 2.5 WTE and 1 volunteer therapist) provided support to colleagues over the period 01/04/21 to 31/03/22, in addition to all existing patient/carer services.

Staff received CT input dependant on individual needs, identified following a holistic assessment. Range of CT interventions included:

  • Provision of hands–on therapy.

  • Preparation of bespoke aromatherapy products.

  • Demonstration of self–management techniques.

  • Provision of relaxation music and guided meditation CDs.

Written instructions accompanied all items provided.

Results CT support was available to 88 contracted and 21 flexi-bank staff. A total of 108 aromatherapy products were issued to staff over the period. Results show the top reasons for receipt of a product were: stress/anxiety; pain; skin problems. The CT Team also delivered 45 hands-on therapies, predominantly to address stress/anxiety, and pain. These results show a high level of need and demand for CT support.

Conclusions This poster outlines a cost-effective solution to maintaining the health/wellbeing of the staff body by utilising an existing resource (requiring investment of staff time but no additional budget). Direct staff feedback would have provided an interesting adjunct to these results. Staff evaluations will therefore be collected going forward.

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