Students encouraged to have both COVID jabs this summer
Health Education England (HEE) is encouraging all health and care students and learners and those starting programmes in September, to ensure they have had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine unless they are medically exempt.
Professor Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Health Education England is leading HEE's drive to encourage student vaccinations which will protect them, their families and those patients they may be caring for and enable them to take part in their clinical learning placements. This follows government guidance advising that those working in social care must be fully vaccinated and a number of NHS trusts are now requiring this from all patient-facing health and care staff.
For those planning placements in social care settings, there is currently a 16 week grace period which is designed to allow time for those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so. The Covid-19 vaccine will then be mandatory for all care home workers in England, including students and learners on placements in those settings, from 11 November 2021.
Should any students or learners opt not to have the vaccination without medical reasons, they will need to talk to their university about the impact this will have on their progression through their programme.
For further support and guidance, including for those who are exempt and may require further information on how to continue with placements, please contact your university and placement coordinators.
NHS mental wellbeing support package available for staff tackling Covid-19
The NHS has launched a mental wellbeing support package for its 1.4 million staff; to help them as they help people deal with the pressures faced during this global health pandemic. This includes a new mental health hotline (0300 131 7000) which is open between 7:00 and 23:00 every day. Calls offer support for mental health, financial help, bereavement, care and coaching. Staff can also text FRONTLINE to 85258 for support 24 hours a day. The hotline and text service is staffed by more than 1,500 trained volunteers.
Prof Simon Gregory DL, Deputy Medical Director, Primary and Integrated Care, HEE, said: “I encourage everyone to make full use of these professional resources. It is vital staff feel supported and employers have the right procedures in place to offer all the help that may be needed.”
A website england.nhs.uk/people is also available.
Want to know how to stay safe?
The Healthcare Learners Coronavirus Advice Guide contains useful hints, tips and advice on staying safe while at work, commuting and at home.
The content was collated from questions posed to HEE and experiences shared by learners working on the front line. Read more about this topic.
Professional and wellbeing support for postgraduate medical and dental trainees is provided in each HEE regions:
NHS staff have been given free access to a number of wellbeing apps to support their mental health and wellbeing.
This includes access to Cityparents (positive and practical support for working parents), #StayAlive (a suicide prevention resource), Daylight (provides help to people experiencing symptoms of worry and anxiety), Sleepio (a sleep-improvement programme), Unmind (helps you measure and manage your personal mental health needs) and Headspace (helps reduce stress, build resilience, and aid better sleep).
Staff Common Room
The staff common room is an opportunity for NHS people to come together virtually and support each other during this difficult time. The staff common rooms are a safe and supportive environment through which colleagues can continue to stay mentally well. They are open to anyone working in the NHS.
Tips for mental health professionals
If you’re a mental health professional helping frontline health care workers who are providing care to people affected by COVID 19, Professor Neil Greenberg, from Kings College London, offers three important things to think about.
Had a hard day?
Make use of our Going home checklist
Below is a selection of resources to help you in your everyday life:
Five steps to wellbeing
Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life. They are:
1. Connect with other people
2. Be physically active
3. Learn new skills
4. Give to others
5. Pay attention to the present (mindfulness).
Every Mind Matters
Every Mind Matters is a national Public Health England campaign, which has expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Answer five quick questions to get your free Mind plan, which offers tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your mood and feel more in control. This has been updated recently to include advice to those who are worried about coronavirus and maintaining their mental health.
What are anxiety disorders?
This information from MIND explains anxiety and panic attacks, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
Depression is a common mental health problem that causes people to experience low mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. Find out more on the Mental Health Foundation website.
Helping someone else
It can be hard to know what to do when supporting someone with a mental health problem. This information from MIND is aimed at helping friends, family, carers and others to give support and take care of themselves too.
MindED Coronavirus Staff Resilience Hub
MindED has selected the best advice and tips for this Coronavirus Staff Resilience Hub from a large panel of international experts. This is for all frontline staff, created with Health Education England in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement and supported by Skills for Care.
Topics include: tips for managers and team leaders, stress and fear, trauma and distress and end of life bereavement.
Types of mental health problems
If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health problem you might be looking for information on your diagnosis, treatment options and where to go for support. Mind's information pages will help you learn more.
Mental Ill Health Disclosure
It is important that learners experiencing mental ill health know they can talk about it with their supervisor and receive help if they need it. Those in a position of authority should also know what is required of them and how they can help if they are approached by someone who is experiencing mental ill health.
Two films have been produced, the first encourages learners to come forward if they are living with mental ill health and to inform them of the help they can access. The second is aimed at supervisors, giving them the information they need to support learners.
To view the films and other resources on this topic click here
Want to learn more about key statistics?
The Mental Health Foundation has a selection of the key statistics on mental health. Want to know how rates of mental ill health differ between men and women or what the stats say about homelessness and mental health? This is also broken down into Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia and Stress.
Bereavement support line
A confidential bereavement support line for NHS staff is up and running. Operated by Hospice UK. It is available from 8:00am – 8:00pm, seven days a week. Call 0300 303 4434.
A team of fully qualified and trained bereavement specialists are available to support you with bereavement and wellbeing issues relating to loss experienced through your work. You will be offered up to three sessions with the same counsellor and onward support to staff mental health services if you need.
Bereavement and suicide support apps
We recognise that some staff, including those with existing mental health concerns, may be particularly struggling during lock down given the changes to every day routine, and we are therefore offering free access to a suicide prevention and support app for all NHS and social care staff:
Grassroots is a charity who aim to prevent suicide through open and direct conversations. Its free app is an easily accessible suicide prevention resource, packed full of useful information to help colleagues stay safe. Colleagues can use it if they are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
Support Now also has other general mental health and wellbeing self-help apps available.
Bereavement and trauma support line for our Filipino colleagues
After engaging directly with colleagues from the Filipino community, a new NHS bereavement and trauma line, supported by a team of fully qualified and trained Tagalog speakers is now available. The confidential, free to access line is available from 8:00am – 8:00pm, seven days a week. Call 0300 303 1115. You do not need a referral.
Tagalog speaking specialist counsellors and support workers are available if colleagues: have experienced a bereavement, wellbeing has been affected by witnessing traumatic deaths as part of your work or you need to discuss any other anxiety or emotional issues you may be experiencing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) programme was created by Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) in response to the global pandemic and has been launched more than 1,200,000 times since it went live in March. The programme includes key materials to help health and care workforce respond to Coronavirus. New content is added daily for specific professions, which includes nurses, midwives, radiologists, doctors, care workers, support workers, final year medical students and allied health professionals, to name a few.
We Can Talk - new online training for hospital staff
HEE is proud to support We Can Talk, which offers children and young people’s mental health training, advice and resources for hospital staff. This was developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Find out more. For further information email email@example.com.
Wellness Induction Guidance
HEE is proud to support Making Every Contact Count (MECC). The fundamental idea underpinning the MECC approach is simple. It recognises that staff across health, local authority and voluntary sectors, have thousands of contacts every day with individuals and are ideally placed to promote health and healthy lifestyles.
MECC focuses on the lifestyle issues that, when addressed, can make the greatest improvement to an individual’s health: stopping smoking, drinking alcohol only within the recommended limits, healthy eating, being physically active, keeping to a healthy weight and improving mental health and wellbeing.
HEE's Population Wellbeing Portal is a central location for free e-learning and other training and education resources in population health, wellbeing and prevention. Resources include e-learning, toolkits, videos, webinars and various publications. Whatever your involvement with the public, these will support you in expanding your knowledge and skills to enable you to influence the health of the population. The portal links with All Our Health, Public Health England's framework of evidence to guide healthcare professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing.
Resources subjects includes: smoking, alcohol, nutrition and obesity, infection management, wellbeing and mental health prevention, relevant national policies and guidance and health improvement.