University Hospital Ayr in Scotland has opened a new wellbeing centre for employees, which aims to “help mitigate the emotional, physical and personal challenges that staff can face”.
Offering both clinical and non-clinical workers a space to relax and recharge away from clinical environments, the facility is available to all individuals in the health and care system.
According to the hospital, the service aims to “empower staff in their recovery from emotional distress and offer help and support at a time when staff need it the most”.
The site is the last of three to officially open its doors in Ayrshire and Arran, with the first at Ayrshire Central Hospital opening in September 2022. Earlier this year, the second was opened at University Hospital Crosshouse.
The centres provide a quiet sanctuary where employees can access services, including staff care, staff psychology, staff psychiatry, spiritual care, medical peer support and peer support.
Dr Crawford McGuffie, medical director for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said: “The staff wellbeing centres are a fantastic example of providing an amazing space to allow staff to come together. This shared space facilitates staff connection and a place where additional support can be accessed if required.
“It is important that our staff are supported to remain well so they can continue to provide care to our citizens. We all do difficult jobs and we have all faced sustained pressures over the last three years and this is a very important part of our wellbeing response to support colleagues. We have created this space for all colleagues to access and these centres will support staff in their emotional and physical wellbeing.
“I’d like to give huge thanks to the many individuals who have contributed to this work.”
Dr John Harden, Scotland’s deputy national clinical director, added: “The staff wellbeing centre here at University Hospital Ayr, and the two others like it, recognises the need for our workforce to have a place where they can decompress, out of the public eye.
“To ensure stable, effective and functioning health and care services we must take care of the people who provide this care. For many of us what we see in our day-to-day work, and what we lived through in the pandemic, has made it harder to find meaning and satisfaction in our work. Yet it is by finding meaning and satisfaction in what we do that is so crucial in preventing burnout and disillusionment.
“I hope the NHS Ayrshire and Arran team enjoy these facilities and know that every person working in health and care is needed and appreciated. We are enormously grateful to each and every one of you for what you do.”