Date of release: 21 July 2020
This week’s blog is a bit different from the norm – I’m going to try to get everyone in better shape!
Well, not quite, but the aim is to encourage people to take advantage of a recently-launched programme that aims to improve their fitness. #DoingOurBit was launched at RWT last month. Pioneered by Julie Davis, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Clinical Research Network (CRN) West Midlands, it’s an app that offers free online workouts to all of our staff.
As the physical and emotional impact of treating COVID-19 patients took its toll on her 190-strong workforce, Julie wanted to organise some free workouts and relaxation sessions to help her colleagues cope.
#DoingOurBit is a simple idea which invites personal trainers to ‘give back’ to NHS workers who could benefit from brief but effective workouts. A launch group of 25 instructors put together over 30 workouts, from relaxation and stretch sessions to low impact and body weight workouts right up to higher intensity routines.
The aim is to have this available for every NHS employee. More than 200 people participated within 24 hours of it going live at the Trust. I haven’t done any of the sessions myself yet but I endorse anything that helps encourage people to be fit and healthy. In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to take exercise, not just to help our physical fitness but our mental health too.
To keep the ‘team spirit’ element of exercise going, the Network plans a virtual session in their calendars where everyone takes part at the same time and they have a Google hangout afterwards where people can chat. They also have an Instagram page – @nhsdoingourbit – where people can find out more about it.
All departments can try it if they want to encourage team bonding. Group sessions, where lots of people work out at the same time then have a chat after, take place every week for staff.
The site and individual workouts are personalised to the NHS and the content is unique. The physical trainers worked to exacting criteria set by Study Active and Active IQ and a rigorous quality control process was implemented to ensure all the workouts are safe and effective.
Following the early success, the programme now been opened up to an additional five organisations and 27,000 staff, and NHS Employers are supporting to help roll it out nationally. Locally, it’s being rolled out at West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS), Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) and Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHFT), but also further afield at the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Research Network and North West London Clinical Research Network.
Staff can access the platform by visiting the Trust’s intranet pages. For those who do, good luck!