How to establish a model of psychological support for employees during COVID-19 and beyond

The Trust

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

The background

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust needed to address the psychological stress employees experience because of COVID-19.

The objectives

  • Make employees our priority.
  • Support all levels of need for psychological support.
  • Prevent the psychological impacts of factors related to COVID-19 on employees.
  • Build longer term workforce resilience, with employees feeling well and supported in work.

The approach

  • Introduction of 152 wellbeing champions who have all received psychological first aid training.
  • SOS rooms being put in place with trained practitioners available for support.
  • Introduction of reflective groups (Schwartz Rounds, leadership support circles and bespoke reflective practice groups).
  • Critical incident stress management services.
  • An app specifically designed to support trauma response (power to respond app).
  • Psychological assessments.
  • Referrals and assessments.
  • Psychoeducation and therapeutic groups.
  • Counselling.
  • Mental health pathways.
  • Post COVID-19 clinic.

The model

  • Level 1 – prevention/proactive mental health work.
  • Level 2 – psychological assessment, low level targeted interventions.
  • Level 3 – formal structured therapy, group work.
  • Level 4 – specialist psychological assessment and intervention, risk     management, complex needs.