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Supporting healthcare workers in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis

It’s not every day that your employer texts you rhymes aimed at cheering you up – and to help you seek advice if you are a bit down.

We don’t do it every day either. But we do send them once a month.

Here is one example:

“Sending a text just to say

We hope you are having a really good day

But if you are not

Then give our wellness centre a shot

A reminder, in case you forgot….”

It may sound a little cheesy, but that’s the idea. Why, I know you are wondering?

Well, we want to try everything we can to make sure our more than 5,000 employees are keeping well during this pandemic.

After all, we are a health and social care provider who works in partnership with the NHS. And that means we, and all our colleagues, have been working hard on being part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic – one of the most challenging times we will ever know.

Whether that involves our district nurses taking on larger caseloads so people can be kept safe and well at home and in the community and out of main general hospitals, or whether we are providing step-down care in our community hospitals – both of which we have done and are still dong in areas across the country to try and create as much capacity in main hospitals as possible for Covid-19 patients.

Other areas of work have included moving many of our consultations and group sessions to virtual and online so we can keep giving the support people need safely, while still providing face to face appointments where needed following Public Health England guidelines.

Our people are also helping those that have come out of hospital after having Covid-19 and some are providing palliative care. In fact, there are too many examples of all the important work our colleagues are doing to list in this blog, but you can find more details here.

We know it has been a tough time for our colleagues – and while they have been brilliant and exceeded any expectation, we also want them to know we are there for them.

We thoroughly believe that organisations who not only say they care for their employees’ wellbeing, but actually do something about it are the employers of the future. Those that will attract and keep the quality colleagues they need – an important but challenging issue in the health and social care sector nationally.

For that reason, we set up our wellness centre, have moved many of our roles to remote working and have been busy translating the huge amount of guidance that has been published for health and social care workers since the start of the pandemic – and believe me the pace of change has been phenomenal. You can read more about this in my previous blog here.

We quickly realised this pace of change could cause stress and additional pressure for our colleagues and wanted to help them navigate this.

Our people strategy mission is to create the environment where colleagues bring their best selves to work. A key part of that is their ability to look after themselves and each other. So in order to remind them that help is available, we have been sending our ‘wellness texts’ every few weeks.

We want them to know that help and resources are available for the problems and issues they might be facing and encourage them to take this up as well as look out for each other.

So, our texts may seem a bit tongue in cheek, which was our intention, but we like to use humour to get our point across. That in itself can help lift people up.

After all, it is definitely worth everyone in our organisation remembering:

“Covid has kept us at bay

In a whole host of different ways

We’ve good cause to moan

But we’re not on our own

Let our Wellness site brighten your day.”

It is also fair to say that at Virgin Care, while we understand the seriousness of looking after our employees’ wellbeing, we also recognise the importance of celebrating our colleagues and all of the incredible work that they do.

For that reason, and as a token of our appreciation, we sent all our colleagues a card to say thank you with a JustEat voucher enclosed.  It is important to try where you can and give people a boost.

Thank you team VC!

Virgin Care
Virgin Care
Virgin Care
Virgin Care

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