The Keeping Well Hubs: Supporting Health and Social Care Staff | Our blog

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The Keeping Well Hubs: Supporting Health and Social Care Staff

It is important that staff know where to turn to for support, especially within the Health and Social Care sector where staff are facing unprecedented levels of pressure. The Keeping Well South East London service is a real asset for care professionals; the service provides wellbeing and psychological support to all health and social care staff in South East London. We spoke with Hannah, Clinical Lead for the service about what Keeping Well can offer Health and Social Care staff:

What is keeping well?

“Keeping Well started in response to the impact of the pandemic on health and social care staff. NHS England funded Keeping Well hubs to be set up across the country, so Keeping Well South East London is just one of 40 across the UK. The foundation of the service is to signpost Health and Social Care Staff to wellbeing information and facilitate conversations with staff to help them get wellbeing support. The support can be formal psychological support, or it can be advice for specific problems (e.g. financial difficulties, relationship difficulties etc.). They can come to us for that sort of support and we’ll help them find the right pathway.”

Who is Keeping Well South East London for and how do people access support from the Hub?

“Keeping Well South East London is available for all Health and Social Care staff across all six South East London Boroughs and what we offer is not limited by banding or grading. People can have an informal well-being conversation with us on our chat function or on our phoneline. People can also use the website to browse a wealth of wellbeing resources.”

“In the first phase of launching our service, we conducted a lot of background research because we knew that there were gaps in support for NHS staff. It also felt important to be guided by the people that we're serving. Our ambition was to create a website that feels like everyone's space and since launching we have received a lot of feedback saying that the website feels accessible, and people can see themselves represented in it. I think we took a little longer in the early stages, but it was worth it to make the website a really inclusive space that could support everyone.”

What support does Keeping Well South East London offer?

“Throughout the pandemic, Health and Social Care workers were bombarded with lots of wellbeing options and sometimes it was difficult to see the wood for the trees. Therefore we aim to set out a clear package of care for the individuals we see, and we don't let go of people until we know they've landed in the right place or got the support they need.”

“Health and Social Care workers can also refer themselves into the service and have a comprehensive mental health assessment with a qualified clinician, we then refine all the available options. The care that we offer can include referrals into an IAPT service; it can be national offers; loccal offers; events that we're running; or signposting people to self-help resources.”

What has it been like since launching the service?

“We're in a really good position, we are offering assessments and we're getting a lot more people through. After launching the portal and the community forum, we were shortlisted for a Health Service Journal award. It was fantastic to be shortlisted and when we saw who we were up against, we knew there were some excellent nominations and that was lovely to see. We're proud of what we've achieved so far; we got the service off the ground as a small team of 5 and we’re growing into a much bigger team now aiming to do more and more. I think where we’ve come from to now is what I’m most proud of.”

What do Health and Social Care staff need to know about this service?

“If people are concerned about reaching out for support, I'm really happy to have individual conversations. I want people to know that it doesn't need to be a formal referral. We’re happy to talk and we always want to know, can we help in anyway? Is there any way that we can support you? If anyone is unsure about seeking support, Keeping Well South East London is here for you, even for informal discussions just to talk things through.”

“Feedback is also really important to us. There may be gaps in our knowledge and we want to find those. If people are looking for something they can’t find or they feel as though there isn’t a space for them, we really want that feedback and we’d love to continue to develop the website in collaboration with the people who it is made to serve. This is by no means the finished article and we're still working to make sure that the website delivers the right support for everyone we serve.”

Find out more about Keeping Well SEL

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