UCLan launches Online Psychological Support Hub for frontline workers during Coronavirus pandemic

UCLan launches Online Psychological Support Hub for frontline workers during Coronavirus pandemic Banner Image

New hub will support frontline NHS workers, their families, care home workers and military support personnel during the crisis

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has launched a new online Psychological Support Hub to provide vital assistance for frontline workers tackling the Coronavirus pandemic.

UCLan’s School of Psychology and School of Community Health and Midwifery have collaborated together to set up the new free online service for frontline NHS workers and their families, care home staff and military personnel involved the national effort against COVID-19.

The service will operate using live video conferencing and audio technology, where workers will be able speak in confidence directly to a member of the support hub team.

In addition to providing expert support on psychological issues affecting staff in their jobs, hub team members will provide guidance on relaxation techniques that can be used as well as suggestions for improving sleep patterns.

The support hub will also provide techniques on how to cope with stress in the workplace, as well as important support in dealing with the aftermath of distressing events experienced while treating patients during the pandemic.

At the moment many of our frontline workers will be experiencing increased stress, upset and pressure on a daily basis which may be causing them sleep problems and interfering with their ability to cope with the vital jobs they are doing.

Professor Jane Ireland from UCLan’s School of Psychology and one of the Clinical Leads for the new Psychological Support Hub said: “Many events that NHS staff and care workers are witnessing during the current pandemic are beyond their normal expectations so this may be causing severe distress and upset for them. Our techniques will be designed to help workers cope better with the impact that extraordinary events like this will have on them not just immediately but in their efforts to recover from it afterwards.

“At the moment many of our frontline workers will be experiencing increased stress, upset and pressure on a daily basis which may be causing them sleep problems and interfering with their ability to cope with the vital jobs they are doing.

“The Psychological Support Hub is now there to give that additional support to them when they need it the most and we would encourage all frontline staff who are suffering to contact us if they are struggling.”

As part of the support offered to workers dealing with distressing events, there will also be help available to staff who have recently lost a work colleague or family member to Covid-19.

Kate Quinn Operational Director of Human Resources at East Lancashire Hospitals Trust said: “East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust provides acute and community health services to a population of 550,000 people with over 8500 staff working at our sites. Therefore we are delighted to be supporting the development of this project.

“We have no doubt that there will be many people – some of our own staff included – who will benefit both personally and in terms of their work, from the expertise of the clinicians involved.”

The new hub can be accessed by visiting our dedicated webpage.

It will initially focus on providing support to those working in the North West of England, with the potential for the service to be extended further afield.

Tim Fernandez | 07 May 2020