Information for staff travelling abroad this summer
As of 31st July 2020, registered health and care professionals travelling to the UK from high-risk countries are lawfully required to self-isolate for 14 days. If you choose to travel to a country whilst the Government has the 14 day return quarantine in place, you will need to agree an acceptable method of managing the quarantine period with your manager, prior to travel. Means of managing the 14 day quarantine are as follows:
- Work from home, where possible
- Where you are unable to work from home, it may be possible temporarily to reassign appropriate work to enable you to do so.
An exemption was originally put in place at the beginning of June 2020, which meant that registered health and care professionals did not have to self-isolate when travelling to England from overseas. However, this exemption is no longer valid.
For more information, visit the page 'Information for Staff Travelling Abroad.'
Health MOT Days – Get your Check-up done Free!
The severity of Covid-19 has been found to have positive correlations with health aspects such as BMI and diabetes. Therefore, this couldn’t be a better time to get these checked! A private health MOT is needed to ensure that your body remains fit and on the right track, which couldn’t be more important given the current situation.
MOT stands for Measurements, Observations and Tests. A 15 minute 121 Health Screen covers height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, mental wellbeing, qRisk, diabetes risk and aerobic fitness (if other results suggest a need). These procedures will emphasise on different ways to improve your overall health condition.
To book your slot, please click on the appropriate location below:
CHS Tower Hamlets
John Howard Centre
City & Hackney
Mile End Hospital
Wellbeing Advice; From ELFT to YOURSELF
This is a stressful time for all of us and especially as NHS staff. Many will feel it is a time of uncertainty, it may be a time of loss, a time when you are feeling anxious right now . You maybe worrying about your risk at work or how to juggle work and new childcare arrangements. You may be worried about vulnerable family members or changes in household income, amongst other things.
In-house Support for Staff 💻
- ELFT In-house Emotional Support Service - a peer-run, call-back support if you are upset, overwhelmed, worried about returning to the workplace, etc.
- Occupational Health queries, contact Team Prevent on 01327 810777 or email: email@example.com.
- Carefirst 24 hour staff helpline (our Employee Assistance Programme provider.) 0800 174 319 or log in online: Username: elft, Password: employee
- Talk to your line manager or colleagues ... if you are feeling overwhelmed. Let people know so they can help. Don't assume they know how you feel
- IAPT/Talking Therapies Services. Staff who refer themselves to IAPT services run by ELFT will be given priority so make it known that you are a member of staff. For help with bereavement, relationship issues, low mood or anxiety issues
Supporting BAME Staff
The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds is of concern to everyone here at ELFT. Alongside recent events in the US and the UK highlighting race inequalities, Chief Executive Dr Navina Evans addressed all staff in an email and later in a video message (05.06.20) to express her feelings and invite staff to take part in a series of online meetings.
On 27 April, an extraordinary Online Meeting for BAME Colleagues took place. See the link for a summary of the discussion.
Further online meetings took place on 10 June. Notes will be published here
Staying Well During COVID-19 Vitamin D - the latest guidance and advice about taking vitamin D supplements
- A Chat Bot Download the Woebot app onto a personal device for a free, COVID-19 specific version of Woebot to work with users daily to reduce stress, combat isolation and help support with the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Also, located in the bottom right hand corner of the Care first website The chat bot will not remember any of the conversation history and only asks the users name. No additional data is collected.
- Silver Cloud - Free access for staff to this CBT online platform. Use access code: NHS2020.
- Butterfly hug - online resources for traumatic stress relief using the 'butterfly hug' technique, instructional videos for staff to learn techniques to reduce the negative impact of acute stress from recent and ongoing events.
- Psychological wellbeing pack for healthcare workers Free It is designed to support as many people as possible during and after the pandemic.
- NHS People Online Guides information about finance, bereavement, having difficult conversation and looking after your team
- Headspace: Free subscription to the science-backed app in mindfulness and meditation, providing unique tools and resources to help reduce stress, build resilience, and aid better sleep https://www.headspace.com/nhs
- Sleepio: Free subscription to this is a clinically-evidenced sleep improvement programme that is fully automated and highly personalised, using cognitive behavioural techniques to help improve poor sleep. Visit sleepio.com/redeem enter redeem code NHS2020.
- Ten Percent Happier app Free six-month subscriptions to the offering meditation and mindfulness help and guidance
- 'NHS in Mind' is a free platform containing 8 easy-to-access, short interventions to help NHS staff alleviate and combat high anxiety, panic and fatigue at this time.
- Together In Mind is a website of podcasts and resources that support the wellbeing of health and social care workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Together in Mind is wellbeing and mental health project that connects and supports the North Central and North East London health and social care workforce during the Coronavirus outbreak. The resources are produced by experts across patch.
External Sources of Support
Working from Home 🏠
Staying at home for long periods of time and disruption to daily routines can cause stress and anxiety. This is particularly true when there are existing tensions and problems in family relationships. Social isolation may exacerbate these tensions even more. At ELFT we want to keep our Staff safe and we want make sure you know where you can get help during this time.
- Here are some useful tips for working from home.
- The window is now open for Staff to order home technology benefits as part of the white good scheme. This could be very helpful at this time with most shops shut at the moment and little chance of finding any extra time to shop for games for the kids, computers for home / mobile working or even gym equipment for a home work out.
- Be kind to yourself and try and eat well during this time. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables has been shown to help increase feelings of wellbeing. Tips to avoiding overeating on lockdown https://www.itv.com/thismorning/cant-stop-snacking-paul-mckenna-is-here-to-help
- Pandemic Incident - Guidance for Staff and Managers following a Pause to Shielding - This document sets out guidance for managers and staff following the government announcement on 22nd June 2020 which set out a series of steps for further relaxing shielding guidance which will come into effect on 6th July and 1st August. From 1st August 2020, the Government have advised those shielding to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures.
- NHS England supplied a list of childcare providers across England.
- Bright Horizons Nurseries and Pre-schools offers free registration, priority booking, flexibility in terms of booking sessions for children up to 8 years old and more >>
- Busy Bees offers care for children age 4 and over with free registration for NHS staff the company is keen to work with the NHS to open centers where it is needed more >>
- SearchChildcare offers information, advice and support on registered childminders. Childminders are trained professionals able to care for a range of ages and more likely to be flexible for those working atypical hours. They can care for siblings and, over the summer, organise trips out whilst maintaining Covid hierarchy of controls more >>
- London Koru Kids is a childcare service providing families across London with part time and after school nannies. Use code NHS50 for £50 off your first month more >>
- A list of Free home schooling and entertainment resources for your children.
- A free digital book has been released explaining coronavirus to primary school age children with drawings by Gruffalo illustrator, the book answers key questions in simple language aimed at five to nine year olds.
We recognise that in this current pandemic, our key worker parents and carers may be facing the additional pressure of having difficult conversations with their children and families on their role as a key worker, and how this may impact on the safety and dynamics of their family. In collaboration with clinicians at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England and NHS Improvement have published some written and audio guidance for key workers that will support them in having those difficult conversations, including considering when is the best time to talk to your children about your role, and how to explain why you are still working when other parents might be at home. To listen to the podcast and read the supporting information, please visit: https://people.nhs.uk/uncategorized/communicating-with-children-about-covid-19/
- At the moment more of us are using telecoms for longer periods than we might have done before. Whether that is for patient conversations or teleconferences instead of face to face meetings. Here is some advice to help you detect and prevent voice issues.
- Here is a helpful infographic on how to arrive home safely.
- We understand that not everybody is working from home and wellbeing reminders are important in the office, here are some great positive messages that could be stuck around your Office to boost morale.
Coping with Stress ⏰
- The “Going Home Checklist” from Mind can help staff switch off from work.
- Good Thinking is London’s digital mental wellbeing service, delivered in partnership with London’s NHS, the Mayor of London, Public Health England, London Councils and Thrive LDN. Good Thinking is free for Londoners to access and provides support to those who feel anxious, sleep deprived, stressed or sad. The platform has recently been updated with specific resources to support the mental health and wellbeing of Londoners in response to coronavirus which can be found here.
- Thrive LDN is coordinating the London-wide public mental health response to COVID-19 to support the mental health and resilience of Londoners during and after the pandemic. This is summarised within their toolkit is updated weekly.
- Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook.
- The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
- Visit the NHS mental health and wellbeing advice website for self-assessment, audio guides and practical tools, if you are experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood.
- Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
- Be mindful about social media overload and misinformation. Try to avoid watching, reading or listening to news that could cause you to feel anxious or distressed. You can turn off automatic notifications from news apps in your phone settings. You can also mute people on social media such as Facebook or twitter if they are sharing things which make you feel anxious or upset.
Try and limit how much news you are receiving and stick to trusted sources such as Public Health England, Gov.uk and of course the ELFT Staff intranet. Avoid misinformation. A lot of false information is being shared.
- Hawk Training are offering a series of courses, with those on emotional resilience and managing stress in the workplace being free to NHS Staff.
- A short video on Coping with stress associated with COVID19: advice to hospital staff.
Staying connected 🤝
During this time we will need to develop different ways of staying in touch with people. This may be through social medial, email phone. Try and check in with each other whether it’s friends or work colleagues just to help feel connected.
Stay Active 🏃
We know it may be difficult and you may be tired after work but doing any physical activity has huge benefits to your wellbeing. Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking will increase your mental alertness, energy and positive mood. If you are isolating at home there are lots exercise programmes on line you could do.
- Home working most likely means longer hours sitting in the same place, so we want to encourage you to take a break. Breaks reduce mental fatigue, keep you physically healthy, and reduce your stress whilst improving productivity. We would like to challenge you to get creative with your break and we want to see it! Either share on Twitter tagging @ELFT_Engagement and #standupforyourselfie or send directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best of the day will be featured in the COVID-19 daily update and there will be a prize for the best break-taking picture!
- ELFT now have their own wellbeing fitness platform for all Staff and service users during COVID-19! There is a weekly programme, a page with the set links and how to access Zoom, a resource page with useful links and a snapshot of what each class involves. Staff can leave feedback after each session to influence new classes or moving times to better suit. For any queries on adapting the programme, contact Marcia Wainner: 07557 593131 / email@example.com.
- Bodycombat sessions for ELFT are starting for Staff every Wednesday at 6pm via Zoom.
- Dawn Boulanoff is running online Yoga and Pilates classes each week, to make up for those that have been postponed due to Covid-19. These are free classes but if anyone wishes to donate, the proceeds are being given to - Charity Fund Just Giving NHS – Coronavirus.
The classes are via Zoom (email Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org for the ID and password) and Facebook as follows:-
- Monday: 5.30-6.30pm, Pilates via Zoom
- Tuesday: 8-9pm, Yin Yoga for relaxation via Facebook (Add Dawn Boulanoff)
- Wednesday: 11-12am, Pilates via Zoom
- Sunday: 1-2pm, Yoga Raja Hatha via Zoom
- You can access free easy ten minute work outs from Public Health England or try other exercise videos at home on the NHS Fitness Studio. Sport England also has tips for keeping active at home.
- Setting yourself goals and challenges can massively help with exercise motivation. Strava is a free app that tracks your walks, runs or any sport of choice! You can sign up to challenges: https://www.strava.com/mobile Why not try the May 5k?
- Yoga with Adrienne has lots of Youtube videos for all levels from 10 mins to 45 mins. This could be particularly good for the necks and backs of those working from home. There are some practices for reducing stress, anxiety and anger too: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
- The Body Coach has many videos for short intense workouts for all skill levels, including low impact ones for anyone with bad knees! He has also started doing‘P.E.’ at home lessons for children and adults to take part in, live and daily from 9am onYouTube:
Lucy Ingle, our People Business Partner for Tower Hamlets & Newham doing her Stand up for Yourselfie in the sun!