Ask the Board Submission and Our Response

In May 2020, Combined Healthcare was proud to launch a new online facility as part of its ongoing commitment to openness, transparency and innovation.

Using this new facility anyone can use a webform – available by clicking here – to make a comment or suggestion or ask a question in advance of each Open Trust Board meeting.   A response is provided as part of the Chair’s Report to the Board meeting, which are publicly available as videos shortly after the meeting.

The archive of previously asked questions and our responses is provided below, together with a link to the relevant filmed response.  

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Ian Syme


Your Comment
Your Suggestion
Your Question

NHS and Care Sector employees Well being

The unprecedented pressures NHS and Care Employees are having to cope with now and certainly in the foreseeable future to address all aspects of Covid19 and also having to adapt to very different social interaction do have consequences for individuals. It’s very likely that prior capacity to address Care sector and NHS employee stress and anxiety will be unable to cope with significant increase in demand.

a. How is Combined Healthcare going to ensure that employee stress and anxiety, the Mental Health of its employees, will be swiftly identified individually and swiftly acted upon? The announced national initiative of a telephone ‘Help Line’ certainly won’t suffice!

b. Combined Healthcare will be facing considerable increases in demand for its services from those employed within the NHS perse and the greater Care sector. Has Combined any ‘projections’ or mapping information that gives an indication of the magnitude of such service demand increases? If so would the Trust give a “flavour” of the expected increase in demand for its services

Our response

As a Trust we have been very quick to act, immediately extending our internal offer of support and continually expanding and developing this to meet the changing needs of our staff as we progress through the 3 psychological response phases of the pandemic (Preparation, Active, Recovery) outlined in guidance by the British Psychological Society.

We aligned and dovetailed our extended and enhanced internal offer of support to the national NHS offer once this was launched. The national NHS offer of support includes a helpline, a bereavement line, a 24/7 text service, virtual group support and debrief sessions facilitated by psychologists, plus a range of e-learning mental health and psychological support resources.

In addition to ensuring a broad scope of comprehensive support for our own people working at Combined, we are also leading a Staffordshire system-wide group focussed specifically on the psychological health and wellbeing of staff during and post Covid-19. This group meets weekly to share information between all 3 NHS providers and the CCG, ensuring a consistent, responsive, high quality system-wide offer of support is provided to our people in Staffordshire.

There is no reliable data as yet on which to base predictions for the demand of services in the Recovery phase, however, by providing proactive high quality support to our people now, we are aiming to reduce and minimise the longer-term impact on our staff, thereby reducing the potential need for our staff to receive therapeutic intervention. However, we recognise that some staff will require this level of support and we are working to identify individuals who may require this intervention and signpost them to appropriate sources of support.

Click below to see the filmed response