Thanks to donations from supporters, Southmead Hospital Charity has committed more than £274,000 over the next two years to fund two full time clinical psychologists and a part time psychology assistant.

They will provide specialist psychological support for symptoms of stress experienced by staff, relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They will also provide team-based support to improve psychological safety and compassionate care across North Bristol NHS Trust.

There will be a focus on dedicated input to support staff from black and minority ethnic groups by addressing barriers to accessing support as well as co-developing interventions to meet their needs.

The new roles will also offer tailored support for junior doctors who have particular challenges and higher rates of distress.

Director of Southmead Hospital Charity, Sarah Harrison, said: “The impact of COVID-19 is likely to last for a long time amongst the NHS workforce and if unaddressed this will have a marked impact on the wellness and effectiveness of staff.

“We recognise the vital part wellbeing plays in staff being able to continue to deliver exceptional healthcare and so we are proud to be able to continue to support these services thanks to our donors.”

Guy Dickson, Head of People Strategy at North Bristol NHS Trust, said: “There is strong evidence, from our existing Wellbeing service as well as national guidance that providing timely, specialist support to staff reduces absenteeism and presenteeism, increases the quality of patient care and reduces organisational costs.

“There has been strong support from the public during the pandemic to recognise the positive impact that our hard working staff have on the wellbeing of the community, and the importance of supporting them. For which we are hugely grateful”

Find out more about how you can continue to support our staff here.