Bradford Hospitals’ Charity funds wellbeing spaces for NHS staff on the Covid-19 frontline

Kelly Thornham News

Hospital staff on the frontline in the fight againstCOVID-19 now have wellbeing rooms where they can take a break from the pressures of the pandemic, thanks to generous donations to Bradford Hospitals’ Charity[1].

More than 30 wellbeing rooms – affectionately named ‘wobble rooms’ – and two wellbeing gardens have been introduced across Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, which runs Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s Hospital, to support employees’ mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

The 32 new areas allow workers to get away from busy wards and give them a chance to gather their thoughts in a calm environment

Head of Fundraising, Hayley Collis, said: “I’m delighted that Bradford Hospitals’ Charity has been able to support the creation of 32 calm spaces throughout Bradford Teaching Hospitals to support our NHS staff.

“These are spaces where staff are able to stop, reflect and recharge and take a short break. The rooms are designed to help reduce anxiety and have information about how to access further support, including counselling, mindfulness and psychology support.

“Whilst our NHS staff are facing these unprecedented times, we will continue our support to ‘top up’ these spaces with appropriate items including comfort packs of hand-creams and wellbeing items such as mindfulness materials too.”

“This has only been possible because of the amazing support from our local community – for example, Sonic Electricals in Bradford, was one of the first companies to step forward to supply electrical goods to kit out the first 10 wellbeing rooms with fridges, microwaves, coffeemakers and kettles.” 

The new rooms are already proving popular with staff who might be having ‘a wobble’ and need a moment to themselves.

Matron for Trauma, Orthopaedics, Breast and Plastic Surgery, Sam Dawe, said she and her staff were “incredibly grateful” for the generous donations that had come in from around the city to fund the wellbeing room on ward 28, which saw its work change from elective orthopaedic surgery to a COVID end-of-life ward for seven weeks of the pandemic. It has since changed again to accommodate acute medical patients.

Ward 28 wellbeing room

Sam said: “A huge thank you to Bradford Hospitals’ Charity and the many local people who helped give generously to creating our Ward 28 wellbeing room.

“It really has been a haven for staff and relatives alike, in that it provides somewhere for people to go if they need to take a moment for themselves or find a quiet and peaceful space to get away from the ward during what has been an incredibly stressful and emotional time.

“The charity purchased and installed a lightbox in the ceiling which reflects images of the sky and this has really helped create a peaceful and calm atmosphere in our room which has no windows or natural light.

“Having this quiet space to pause and reflect is making a huge difference to the wellbeing of our staff, as well as giving them an opportunity to leave messages of support on a special ‘positivity’ tree for their colleagues and patients’ families alike.”

Items funded by Bradford Hospitals’ Charity for the rooms include sofas and soft furnishings, coffee machines and kettles, microwaves, artwork and self-care items for staff.

Chief Nurse, Karen Dawber added: “Our staff face huge challenges at the current time and we’re working hard to make sure we can support both their physical and mental wellbeing.

“All of the rooms have information about how to access further support including counselling, psychology support and support in relation to traumatic incidents. One has a laptop which can be used for video calls to the pastoral support team and another is located within the hospital’s counselling service where a qualified therapist is present if needed.”

Bradford Hospitals’ Charity has funded the 32 areas thanks to money raised from its NHS Hospital Heroes Appeal, as well as grants from NHS Charities Together, of which Bradford Hospitals’ Charity is part of.

You can find out more about the Bradford Hospitals’ Charity NHS Hospital Heroes appeal at https://bradfordhospitalscharity.org/nhshospitalheroes.

Specialist diabetes nurse Christine Kelly

[1] Bradford Hospitals’ Charity is the charitable arm of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.