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Working Well

Feb 4, 2019 11:39:05 AM / by Banner


Claire HobbsClaire Hobbs, Health & Wellbeing Coordinator and Flu Lead, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

From encouraging uptake of the flu vaccine among the 4,500 staff at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, to try and challenge mental stigma, Claire Hobbs' role as Heath and Wellbeing coordinator is a busy one.

In her interview with B Procurement, Claire explains the Trust's drive to encourage people to look after themselves:

Workplace Wellbeing
"I put together all the health and wellbeing initiatives for the Trust. It's all about letting staff know that, regardless of their role, they can get help with their wellbeing"

"I'm the lead on the flu campaign each autumn. There are a few weeks a year when I don't have to think about flu, but the rest of the year I do. It's all about delivering flu vaccines to the Trust's staff, which will help to protect them, their families and friends, and patients. The strapline this autumn was 'Kung Fu That Flu' and Banner helped with campaign materials including signage.

"In a hospital there are lots of vulnerable people and if they get flu it can be very serious. We have to meet vaccination targets. In 2017 we achieved an 78% uptake and in 2018 we were on course for around 75%, so there is still more to do. People might refuse to take the Vaccine because they think they'll get flu from the jab, which simply isn't true. Someone might be harbouring a cold at the time of receiving the jab, and then falsely believe it was the vaccine that caused it. Real flu is far worse than a cold, but you cannot get either from the vaccine.

"There is also a misconception that if you're fit and healthy you can't get flu, but you can look fine and still be harbouring the flu virus. It's not just about being unwell. 


Mental Health 

"There is so much more to talk about mental health now. The Trust has  a peer to peer service, set up by our chaplain, which is a group of listeners who are there for anyone who needs to talk. It's proactive as well as reactive, so a listener might go up to someone and simply ask if they're ok.

"I've just become a mental health first aid instructor. I took part in a national program teaching young people how to administer first aid to people who may have mental health issues, and I can now deliver training sessions with the Trust. There has been brilliant feedback from these.

"I really this everyone should take the training and be able to spot the warning signs of a problem, but also look after themselves as well. One in four of is said to develop a mental health illness at some point. If I had my way, we would have as many mental health first aiders here as possible. 

Event In the Tent 
"We have a good rating from the Care Quality Commission, but we want it to be outstanding, so our communications team devised 'Event in the Tent'. This was a three-day event designed to engage with staff and patients and included a focus on health and wellbeing and way that staff can take care of themselves.

"Speakers included Chris Pointon, husband of Dr Kate Granger MBE, a cancer patient who started the #hellomynameis campaign, which reminds staff about the importance of first name introductions in healthcare. He spoke about Kate's legacy. We had very positive feedback and our communications team were shortlisted for a national award for the event.

"Banner was one of our partners at the event, and their help was great. They helped staff find out that if they have a problem with their back or neck there is a product out there to help. They had a stand and talked to people on the ground, spreading the word about ergonomics.

Want to read more?

Read part 2 of Claire's story and what inspired her to be a Heath and Wellbeing Coordinator here.

Topics: Interviews, Health


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