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Tailored support whenever you need it

Mental health among NHS staff is becoming a national issue, with recent news reports highlighting a significant rise in stress-related illness.

However, a wide range of support is now available to staff at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT) via the Occupational Health (OH) Department.

Amanda Grice, Acting Manager at our Workplace Health and Wellbeing Centre, recently outlined the help on offer to staff in any department around the areas of mental health, stress and anxiety.

She said: “In short, we want all of our staff to feel valued and supported at work, and if there are any concerns impacting upon their mental health, to allow them to benefit from the right support.

“Firstly, we have our Employee Assistance Programme, a service that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to any staff member experiencing problems affecting their psychological wellbeing.

“This service is not just for staff – it can also be accessed by family members who live at the same address as employees of our Trust.

“We also have Mental Health Access to Work, who hold a clinic at the Trust’s Occupational Health (OH) Department every month. And we have our own specialist occupational therapist, Charlotte Walker, who undertakes Occupational Therapy assessments within the OH Department too. Charlotte offers ongoing support for staff affected by issues such as stress and anxiety.

“She also runs training workshops, which any Trust staff member can book onto. For more information, please see the Occupational Health Department’s Twitter page at @BTHFTOccHealth

OH have also worked with Abigail Smith from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust to deliver an eight-week ‘Living Life to the Full’ course to 15 BTHFT staff members. The course aims to provide staff members with the tools to manage low mood, stress and anxiety. Further information on further courses from My Wellbeing College can be found here.

Amanda added that if any staff member felt that work was impacting negatively upon their mental health, other avenues of support were available outside the OH Department, including speaking with the Trust’s Freedom to Speak Up team or their trade union representative.

Staff and managers may also wish to refer to the Trust’s Managing Stress at Work Policy and Guidance here, which contains practical guidance as well as tools to act on any concerns raised.

Nurses suffering financial hardship (whether they are RCN members or not) can also contact the Lamplight Support Service on 0345 7726100 or via email at mss@rcn.org.uk

Contact the Occupational Health Department

BTHFT staff can contact the OH Department directly on 01274 364171 or by emailing: occupational.health@bthft.nhs.uk

Field House, Bradford Royal Infirmary
Field House, Bradford Royal Infirmary

Sue Franklin is in charge of the Freedom to Speak Up campaign at Bradford Teaching Hospitals

Freedom to Speak Up

My name is Sue Franklin and I am the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian for Bradford Teaching Hospitals.

My role, alongside the Associate Guardians, is to provide guidance and advice on how those working in our hospitals may raise and escalate concerns, outside of usual line management or reporting structures.

We all want to have a culture where we feel confident and supported to raise and report concerns, and one that is free from bullying and / or harassment.

If you’re a BTHFT staff member and you’d like to raise and escalate concerns, please find out more below.

Speak up - we will listen

Speak up – we will listen

Speaking up about any concern you have at work is really important. In fact, it’s vital because it will help us to keep improving our services for our patients and the working environment for our staff.

You may feel worried about raising a concern, and we understand this. But please don’t be put off. In accordance with our duty of candour, our senior leaders and entire board are committed to an open and honest culture. We will look into what you say and you will always have access to the support you need. If you raise a genuine concern under this policy, you will not be at risk of losing your job or suffering any form of reprisal as a result.

You can raise a concern about a risk, malpractice or wrongdoing that you think may be harming the service we deliver. Just a few examples of this might include:

  • unsafe patient care
  • unsafe working conditions
  • inadequate induction or training for staff
  • lack of, or poor, response to a reported patient safety incident
  • suspicions of fraud (can also be reported to our local counter-fraud team)
  • a bullying culture (across a team or organisation rather than individual instances)

Remember that if you are a health professional you may have a professional duty to report a concern. If in doubt, please raise it. Don’t wait for proof. We would like you to raise the matter while it is still a concern. It doesn’t matter if you turn out to be mistaken as long as you are genuinely troubled.

This procedure is not for people with concerns about their employment that affect only them, that type of concern should be raised in line with the BTHFT Grievance Policy.

How to speak up

If you have a concern about a risk, malpractice or wrongdoing at work, we hope you will feel able to raise it first with you line manager, lead clinician or tutor (for students). This may be done orally, in writing or via the online incident reporting system. However if you feel unable to do this, please raise the matter with your BTHFT Freedom to Speak up Guardian or Associate Guardians. They have been given special responsibility and training in dealing with your concerns.

The process that you need to follow to raise a concern

  1. We will always thank you for raising your concerns and will treat you with respect at all stages of the process.
    Your concern can be raised in three ways:
    By emailing Speakup.Guardian@bthft.nhs.uk
    OR
    By Downloading BTHFT FTSU free App from the App store for Smart phones, (this can also be used anonymously)
    OR
    By Contacting the FTSU Guardian or an Associate Guardian directly by telephone, email or in writing
  2. Your concern will be acknowledged within 2 working days and our FTSU Guardian or an Associate Guardian will contact you to discuss your concerns (unless the concern has been raised anonymously)
  3. An independent, objective and evidence based investigation will be undertaken within a reasonable time frame agreed with you
  4. You will receive updates to inform you of the progress of the investigation
    If possible, the full investigation report will be shared with you (while respecting the confidentiality of others)

The Freedom to Speak Up Guardians have been given special responsibility and training in dealing with your concerns. They will:

  • Provide confidential advice and support to staff in relation to their concerns
  • Make sure staff feel free and safe to speak up and raise concerns
  • Support staff to ensure that no detriment comes to individuals who raise concerns in the interest of patient and staff safety
  • Help to raise the profile of raising concerns in our Trust

If you raise a concern anonymously then the issue will be harder to address – but your concern will be looked into. However no personal feedback will be possible.

Contact details for your FTSU Guardian and Associate Guardians

Name Title Email
​Sue Franklin FTSU Guardian & Associate Chief Nurse for Quality Improvement Susan.franklin@bthft.nhs.uk
​Karen Dawber Chief Nurse & Executive Lead for FTSU Karen.Dawber@bthft.nhs.uk
Karen Walker Non-Executive Director for FTSU Karen.Walker@bthft.nhs.uk
​Laura Jones Deputy FTSU Guardian & Head of Clinical Information Systems Laura.Jones@bthft.nhs.uk
​Leeanne Elliott Consultant Radiologist / Deputy Medical Director Leeanne.Elliott@bthft.nhs.uk
​​Sarah Freeman Head of Nursing Sarah.Freeman@bthft.nhs.uk
Simon Kirk General Manager Simon.Kirk@bthft.nhs.uk
Amandeep Singh ​Partnership Lead, Human Resources Amandeep.Singh@bthft.nhs.uk
​Rupert Allen Principal Dietitian Rupert.Allen@bthft.nhs.uk
Anthony Doggett Business and Performance Support Manager Anthony.Doggett@bthft.nhs.uk
Naveed Saddique Service and Business Development Manager Naveed.Saddique@bthft.nhs.uk

Mindfulness resources for support during COVID-19

COVID-19 has brought great uncertainty and worry into many of our lives, and it is important that we do the best that we can to take care of our emotional well-being.

Mindfulness teachers across the world are generously making resources available online and creating ways for people to connect and practice together.  This is one way that some staff might find support and guidance at this challenging time.

Please click here for a selection of links to online practices and resources which are open to anyone who may find them helpful.