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Thrive at Work In Action: Caring during the Covid-19 outbreak at John Taylor Hospice

15 April 2020

Staff from the Wellbeing Team at John Taylor Hospice celebrating at Birmingham Pride

Gail Hipkiss, Director of Corporate and Commercial Services at John Taylor Hospice shares thoughts on their use of WMCA's Thrive at Work programme during the Covid-19 outbreak to maintain staff morale and wellbeing.

Our staff are used to working through difficult and sometimes distressing situations. No one is immune to this. Covid-19 has brought a completely new dimension to how the care sector works.  In spite of this, John Taylor Hospice is leading the way by bringing together care providers across the Birmingham area in a centralised hub.  This marks a significant change to how our staff work, yet they have risen to this challenge.

Using Thrive at Work
Through Thrive at Work, staff have generally understood the importance of wellbeing and self-care. However Covid-19 has made wellbeing even more of a hot topic in the care sector. On-site, staff  are encouraged to look out for one another, and that includes taking 5 minutes out to have a cup of tea and slice of cake, or attending a drop-in session with one of the trained counsellors. 

Sharing tips
Through all of this many of the team still find time to share positive stories, information, wellbeing tips, and lots more with their colleagues. This positivity and drive inspired the development of our own weekly Wellbeing Newsletter to share such stories.

Keeping in touch with staff
However home workers can still feel isolated, so we have been making sure they stay up to date with hospice developments by asking them to log into a weekly podcast recorded by our Director of Clinical Services.  We also have weekly communications to staff and team managers check in daily with their teams via Team Talk. 

Getting the right tech
Our IT Team has been instrumental in helping everyone feel connected.  They have done an amazing job of getting staff the right kit to allow them to work from home. This has allowed us to maintain social distance while at work and to undertake our business as usual activities.

Looking after each other
Our staff have been amazing and, thanks in part to Thrive at Work, looking after ourselves and each other now seems to happen naturally.  Despite these difficult times, it is still a joy and a privilege to come to work.

Find out more about Thrive at Work