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Bevan Exemplar Cohort 7 Projects

Compassionate care in challenging times: Growing a peer support network for healthcare colleagues with healthcare staff

Avril Jones

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

This project focus is on staff wellbeing to maintain a preventative/proactive health promotion service.  Evidence is growing that our NHS Covid-19 response will have had huge collateral damaging effects upon our population health, especially infants, children and young adults. Community services were seen as not the priority.

By supporting our care giving staff, (initially health visiting service and extending to other disciplines) we can protect the preventative/proactive health service for all families in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

Practitioner peer support and reflection are recognized as a necessity by practitioners working at the `caring face’ as evidenced in the Kings’ Fund Report. `ABC Needs of Nurses and Midwives. Courage of Compassionate care` 2020.

The Project: 

Building and maintaining our staff capacity to respond to service users complex needs in the most effective way in the continual and changing pressures of the pandemic.

Project Outcomes: 

  • The continued functioning of peer-to-peer care via facilitation of reflective safe space and time. Virtual and face-to-face.
  • Upskill colleagues, co-ordination of network. Availability of regular reflective supervision sessions for all staff.
  • Annual professional review discussion to prioritize wellbeing.
  • Delivered online monthly sessions to middle managers.
  • Recognition that a cultural change is needed to support compassionate care to fellow healthcare professionals.
  • The need to support all staff to practise their focus upon own wellbeing in a workplace that is learning to be compassionate and recognise that ‘avoidable harm’ to staff is a necessity.
  • The introduction of a new senior professional role to support staff wellbeing throughout our service: Facilitation of:
  1. Staff to be valued, heard and trusted (AUTONOMY)
  2. Support the support (Peer-to-peer) (BELONGING)
  3. Compassionate responsive management model
  4. Communication and celebration/feedback (CONTRIBUTIONS) 

Project Impact:

A different and new focus on staff self-care around emotional wellbeing.

“ RS has been extremely useful to me during a difficult year in management. It has been a support network where I felt listened to-it is invaluable- I wish more staff could take it.” – Middle manager

View the project poster and slides from the Cohort 7 Exemplar Showcase