Helping our people manage stress and anxiety

The Trust

West Midlands Ambulance Service

The background

West Midlands Ambulance Service provides a peer-led employee advice and liaison service which is a key element to the employee support offer at West Midlands Ambulance Service. The employee advice and liaison service aim to provide the timeliest possible interventions to tackle stress, anxiety, and depression for a workforce under large amounts of pressure.

The challenges

  • Stress, anxiety, and depression is the leading cause of absence accounting for 9,404 days or 17.8% of all absences in 2016.
  • A highly dispersed workforce that rarely spends much time in a central location.
  • An extremely busy workforce with low amounts of spare time during working hours.

The results

  • There were over 600 referrals to the employee advice and liaison service, which equates to over 10% of the workforce.
  • Employee feedback showed that 83% respondents said the service was a positive experience.
  • After a traumatic situation employee’s go through a ‘critical incident debrief’ tailored to the needs of the individuals following an incident.
  • They aim to address the trauma by defusing the situation, debriefing, and following up through the employee advice and liaison service, managers, or human resources. The employee advice and liaison service are helping West Midlands Ambulance Service maintain its position as the best performing ambulance trust for sickness absence, which in 2016 stood at 3.41%.