Louise Short, Acute Inpatient Manager, Bradgate Mental Health Unit, Glenfield Hospital, talks to Hospital Hub about supporting the wellbeing of mental health nurses at Leicestershire Partnership Trust
Looking after the wellbeing of nurses is crucial, but perhaps even more so for those in mental health nursing, which can be highly pressurised.
In May the Royal College of Nursing[i] revealed that NHS England lost 6,000 mental health nurses in the last decade. The Nursing and Midwifery Council[ii] reported that nearly a third of nurses are leaving the profession due to stress or declining mental health.
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, (LPT) provides mental health, learning disability and community health services for one million people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
We recognise mental health nursing is challenging and ensure nurses are looked after and they are fit and well and can deliver the quality care and services our patients deserve.
The Trust has a big focus on health and wellbeing to help staff handle the work pressure.
One way we do this is by offering part-time and flexible roles. Staff in some sites work a three day on the wards and four days off shift pattern. Our inpatient areas are electronically rostered so staff can view their shift patterns and leave in advance, which helps them plan effectively.
The Trust runs yoga and Zumba classes at several sites and staff have access to discounted gym membership or can opt for salary sacrifice gym membership. We also have preferential staff rates at a local health spa. Also, managers often send health and wellbeing baskets to nurses, which include healthy snacks and drinks. Such initiatives make staff feel valued.
We recognise people may need extra support at times, so we offer a free confidential counselling service which provides an outlet for staff at times of need. Additionally, our Occupational Health service provides advice on all aspects of the relationship between work and health. We also offer a physiotherapy service to help staff manage musculoskeletal issues.
We have a wide range of initiatives to help our staff remain healthy, and benefit from working with us. Our annual wellbeing event is a popular event where staff can find out more and participate in taster sessions of some of these.
The Trust also invests in training and development, to support career development, with specialist course in addition to mandatory ones. For those that want to move into leadership there are opportunities too, as well as for nurses wishing to do higher level degrees. For example, we offer an MSci Nursing with Leadership course in association with the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester.
As well as helping our staff advance their careers, we support our staff in managing their finances, with a financial wellbeing hub that provides financial education.
LPT is part of a recruitment campaign Y/Our Future that unites five major health and social care employers – University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, LOROS Hospice, Rutland County Council and Leicester City Council – to recruit doctors, nurses and health and social care workers to work in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
For information on the vacancies visit: https://www.your-future.co.uk/