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Staff care

Aim to provide an emotionally supportive environment for staff where challenges can be discussed openly and individual needs are acknowledged and met.

Women and partners tell us they recognise bereavement can be challenging for staff and want those caring for them to feel well supported.

What do we need to do?

Staff support

  • Managers and senior staff have a duty to
    • check how staff feel before they finish their shift
    • organise debriefs and provide reflective spaces
    • encourage, support and provide training for staff
    • watch for signs of strain or difficulty in individuals and within teams
    • facilitate discussion between colleagues and teams.

Self care

  • If, at any time, you don’t feel sufficiently experienced in bereavement care and are worried, ask someone more experienced to help you.
  • Recognise your own support needs and be open about them with your manager.
  • Identify your training needs or seek advice from colleagues or peers.
  • Communicate these needs with management and colleagues – other staff may have similar needs.
  • Ensure you are aware of the support arrangements and services in place within your hospital or health board, including the spiritual care/chaplaincy team.
  • Be aware of the stresses and challenges faced by your colleagues and, where appropriate, talk about support arrangements and services with them.
  • Look after yourself:
    • make sure you have the opportunity to take regular breaks at work
    • protect your time away from work during non-working days and annual leave
    • attend to your own emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Talk to your manager or a colleague if you feel you are experiencing signs of stress, ‘burnout’ or mental health difficulties for example
    • becoming sensitive to triggers that would not normally upset you
    • becoming overcritical or defensive of yourself or others
    • questioning your own and others’ values
    • sleeping poorly or much longer than usual
    • drinking more alcohol or eating more or less than usual.
  • Find out about wellbeing from the NES Support Around Death website.

How will we know we have achieved our aim?

Staff will say they feel confident they are working in a supportive environment and can openly express their own needs with colleagues and senior staff.

Go to Outcome measures

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