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Taking care of each other

If 2020 teaches us anything about health, it must be that we all depend on each other for our wellbeing. Beneath the COVID-19 statistics and epidemiological risks lies human behaviour and the challenge to pull together for the good of the planet, or fall apart into illness, isolation, growing inequality and accelerating climate change.

It has been hard to know what to write on this blog as the situation has changed so quickly from week to week. TVWellNet workshops have been redesigned as online meetings using Zoom, and the materials are available here along with links to other resources. We are looking for offers to present this autumn so do get in touch.

Those of us who provide wellbeing support to staff in health and social care have been very busy finding online ways to work around the COVID restrictions. The difficulty is often about knowing what support will work for whom and when. Is it a listening ear that people need, or a discussion group? Will a live webinar help or are podcasts just as good? Online meditation or an exercise class?

Staff will need different support at different times, so a mix of options will always be needed. The niggling anxiety is that there are those who need support but who can’t or won’t use the technology. There are some great options for physically distanced support in the open air from Oxford Safe Haven or at Lindengate. There is info for walking in the Chilterns and info on the benefits of walking in nature can be found at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare.

However, as the weather turns cooler and stormier our online activities may have to be extended and refreshed. If you have an idea, a need or an offer, let us know so we can work together to help each other.

Taking care of each other

If 2020 teaches us anything about health, it must be that we all depend on each other for our wellbeing. Beneath the COVID-19 statistics and epidemiological risks lies human behaviour and the challenge to pull together for the good of the planet, or fall apart into illness, isolation, growing inequality and accelerating climate change. It […]

Motivational Interviewing and Inspiring Care

This professional development day on 12 March (rescheduled from November) is for all health and care staff across Thames Valley, especially team leaders. Venue: South Oxon Palliative Care Hub, Joyce Grove, Nettlebed, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 5DF .  Presenters:– Anthea Hewitt, Psychodynamic Counsellor/Therapist;– Jo Odell, Practice Development Facilitator, Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS); – Nicola Richardson, Cardiology Lead Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals […]

Self-compassion workshop in Oxford

Participant feedback from the first run of this workshop with Dr Sarah Eagger was excellent, so we are delighted to offer it again in Oxford: Self-Compassion Workshop, Tuesday 11 February, 12:45 – 16:30 A free workshop for all who work in health and social care in the Thames Valley Venue: St Anthony of Padua Church […]

Featured

Welcome to Thames Valley Wellbeing Network

…for all who work in health & social care in the Thames Valley

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

— World Health Organisation.

The Thames Valley Wellbeing Network was launched on 11 July 2019. Lots of ideas for future meetings were proposed by participants, including themes, presenters and venues. Eight network meetings will be held between autumn 2019 and spring 2020.

Contact tvwellnet@brookes.ac.uk to join the mailing list.

Subscribe below to get notified when updates are made to this blog.

Motivational Interviewing and Inspiring Care

This professional development day on 12 March (rescheduled from November) is for all health and care staff across Thames Valley, especially team leaders.

Venue: South Oxon Palliative Care Hub, Joyce Grove, Nettlebed, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 5DF . 

Presenters:
– Anthea Hewitt, Psychodynamic Counsellor/Therapist;
– Jo Odell, Practice Development Facilitator, Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS);
– Nicola Richardson, Cardiology Lead Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUHT).

Book now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/motivational-interviewing-and-inspiring-care-tickets-86670304213

The day features a World Cafe workshop on techniques to improve workplace culture (supported by FoNS), and opportunities to practice Motivational Interviewing for positive behaviour change. 

Read more about Motivational Interviewing here: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=%22motivational+interviewing%22

NB: These workshops are very popular, so book now to avoid disappointment.
Admin fee £35 – includes lunch and refreshments. Choose half-day or full-day attendance.
Certificates of attendance will be provided.

NB: If the cost is a serious barrier to attendance, please email tvwellnet@brookes.ac.uk and we can offer a bursary.

Book now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/motivational-interviewing-and-inspiring-care-tickets-86670304213 – and please spread the word among your colleagues.

Kind regards – Rhonda

Self-compassion workshop in Oxford

Participant feedback from the first run of this workshop with Dr Sarah Eagger was excellent, so we are delighted to offer it again in Oxford:

Self-Compassion Workshop, Tuesday 11 February, 12:45 – 16:30

A free workshop for all who work in health and social care in the Thames Valley

Venue: St Anthony of Padua Church Hall, 115 Headley Way, Headington, Oxford OX3 7SS.

Brief details

Having compassion for yourself is no different from having compassion for others. Suffering, failure and imperfection are a shared human experience; do we make enough time and space to acknowledge this in ourselves?

In this workshop we will learn about self-compassion research, explore our own experiences and reflect on our feelings, and share perspectives in small groups.

About the facilitator

Dr Sarah Eagger is a consultant psychiatrist working privately in London and is a certified Mindful Self-compassion teacher.

NB: Parking is limited at the venue, and traffic is very heavy on Headley Way and near the JR hospital. Please use local buses – view your options on https://www.traveline.info

Book now on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/self-compassion-workshop-tickets-86666446675

Enhancing Motivation and Workplace Culture

We’re delighted to announce another TVWellNet event, Enhancing Motivation and Workplace Culture on 7 November. This professional development day is for all health and care staff across Thames Valley, especially team leaders.

Venue: South Oxon Palliative Care Hub, Joyce Grove, Nettlebed, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 5DF . 

Presenters:
– Anthea Hewitt, Psychodynamic Counsellor/Therapist;
– Jo Odell, Practice Development Facilitator, Foundation of Nursing Studies (FoNS) www.fons.org ;
– Nicola Richardson, Cardiology Lead Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUHT).

Book now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/enhancing-motivation-and-workplace-culture-tickets-74083276073

The programme features a World Cafe workshop on techniques to improve workplace culture, and opportunities to practice Motivational Interviewing for positive behaviour change. 

Read more about Motivational Interviewing here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=%22motivational+interviewing%22

For more information on the fully funded FoNS Inspire Improvement Fellowships for nurses, midwives and health visitors (deadline 4 November) go to https://www.fons.org/programmes/inspire-improvement

NB: These workshops are very popular, so book now to avoid disappointment.
Admin fee £35 – includes lunch and refreshments. Choose half-day or full-day attendance.
Certificates of attendance will be provided. CPD points applied for.
Book now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/enhancing-motivation-and-workplace-culture-tickets-74083276073 – and please spread the word among your colleagues!

Kind regards – Rhonda

Issues, enablers and good practice

Lots of great ideas were discussed at the launch of the network in July, and it took some time to find a way to sort them. Here is a quick summary of the main points.

Issues

The wordcloud here (thanks to wordclouds.com) gives a quick impression of what’s on our minds. We recognise great variation in the availability of support for staff wellbeing in Thames Valley. Some of the workforce feel isolated and do not have access to clinical supervision or mentoring.

Physical and mental health are inextricably linked. Whilst training courses and wellbeing sessions will help some individuals, the workplace culture and environment can either serve to undermine or support our wellbeing. Health professionals can feel afraid to say they are unwell or are struggling with addiction: fear of stigmatisation remains a barrier to requesting help. Burnout and emotional exhaustion are key drivers of staff turnover, and we recognise that the causes have to be tackled if we are to address chronic staff shortages and increasing workload in our region.

Enablers

I’ve chosen the term enablers to cover the organisations and workplace structures that support staff wellbeing. We shared a range of positive initiatives, relevant courses, organisations and frameworks in our discussions.

What strikes me about these observations is that there is no shortage of good initiatives, courses, legal frameworks and public bodies that can help us improve staff wellbeing in Thames Valley. Yet none of us can see the whole picture, so the need to share information, meet our colleagues and exchange ideas is as great as it ever was. The explicit support of managers and a genuine commitment to flexible working is at least as important as a Wellbeing action plan, if not more so. We need to allow time and space for staff to reflect on the stresses of the workplace and support each other, and this may mean changing the conversation to focus on what matters to us, rather than what’s the matter with us. Person-centred care begins in the way our teams work.

Good practice

This category overlaps with enablers to some extent, but there are specific approaches here that are worth noting. (BTW this shape is meant to be an apple!)

Again the need for structured time and space for reflection in the workplace is proposed (such as supervision, debriefing meetings, retreats and away-days), and adequate staffing, but there is also a need for self-awareness and reciprocity amongst team members (e.g. honesty with colleagues and buddying processes). Time for breaks is a key problem: whereas other professionals have protected time for lunch, etc, many healthcare staff work through their breaks to the detriment of their health and at risk to the quality of their work.

Other key points here concern the quality of the working environment – adequate light, furniture, desks, etc. Given the huge cost of workplace injuries such as RSI, these aspects are fundamental to maintaining staff safety and wellbeing.

Next steps

In addition to the themes I have briefly summarised above, participants at the launch suggested topics, speakers and venues. These are part of the shopping list for future events that we are exploring now. We hope to collaborate with other networks, organisations and associations wherever possible. Ideas and offers of help are always welcome…

More to follow soon.

Meetings in Oxford, Henley and Bracknell

Dear colleagues – updates for your #TVWellNet event diary, open to anyone working in health and social care in the Thames Valley:

24 October, 16:00 to 18:00, Oxford Brookes University, Headington: Joint meeting with Nursing Now on the #Buurtzorg model of care.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/enhancing-wellbeing-of-patients-staff-with-the-buurtzorg-model-tickets-72490423809

7 November, 09:30 to 16:30, Nettlebed, Henley: Enhancing Motivation and Workplace Culture – a CPD day for all health and care staff across Thames Valley, especially team leaders.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/enhancing-motivation-and-workplace-culture-tickets-74083276073

20 November, 13:30 to 16:30, Easthampstead Baptist Hall, Bracknell: an experiential workshop on Self-compassion with Dr Sarah Eagger is SOLD OUT. Details for your info at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/self-compassion-workshop-tickets-72069376445

We hope to run the Self-compassion workshop again in spring 2020.

Kind regards – Rhonda

Join the network

Anyone who works in health and social care in the Thames Valley (roughly Berks, Bucks, and Oxon) can join TV WellNet.

You may be

  • a lone practitioner in the community
  • working in a clinic or hospital
  • a student in training
  • researching health and social care
  • training health practitioners
  • contracted or self-employed

…if your main focus is health and you are interested in wellbeing for yourself and others, then get involved.

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