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Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse's Blog

Date of release: 3 February 2021

Latest News: Ann-Marie Cannaby Blog

Welcome back to my blog! As I’m sure as all nurses everywhere will appreciate, work pressures have meant it’s been difficult to devote any time or effort to anything but work recently, which for me has forced the blog to be paused.

However, I’m back now, and with the care of our staff very much at the forefront of my thinking, I would like to focus on wellbeing.

Living and working in such challenging times, it’s more vital than ever to look after ourselves.

I have previously written about the importance of wellbeing, but faced with dealing with the third wave and the associated challenges that come with it, I make no apology for doing so again.

Our lives are upside down in so many ways at the moment, and as we juggle so many things, the last person we think about is ourselves.

This can be particularly the case when it comes to caring for others. We put patients first and so can neglect to spend time on our own wellbeing.

But we cannot hope to be at our best to look after others if we don’t invest in ourselves.

There are many different ways to look after our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, but it can start with just talking to someone.

This Thursday, February 4th, is Time to Talk Day. Having a small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.

Time to Talk Day is the day to get talking about mental health. It’s always important to chat about how we’re feeling, especially with the pressures we have all faced over this last year, and it can help to raise awareness of mental health and bring an end to the stigma too often associated with mental health and wellbeing.

I have picked out some relevant extracts from an interesting read by Jo Flavell, our Health and Wellbeing Specialist and Mental Health First Aider, about how to really talk and really listen. For the full article, download the PDF below.

Really Talking and Really Listening (PDF, 544Kb)

Have you ever felt so much better after having a rant to a friend or loved one? Talking can give you a sense you are doing something, and taking action. 

Have you ever felt so much better after having a rant to a friend or loved one? Talking can give you a sense you are doing something, and taking action.

Talking gives us an opportunity to ‘hear’ ourselves and ‘listen’ to ourselves. It gives us an opportunity to rationalise and understand our thoughts and feelings.

Have you ever heard the statement a ‘problem shared is a problem halved’? This is because talking can help us understand that our thoughts/feelings are often far less scary when we say them out loud, as opposed to keeping them in.

There are plenty of people at RWT to talk to; it may be a trusted friend or colleague, your manager, the Occupational Health Team, the Multi-faith Chaplaincy Team, a Mental Health First Aider or a Peer Listener.

Our team of Health and Wellbeing Champions are there to ask for advice on where to get helpful information and resources such as access to professional psychology support, a conversation with a Mental Health First Aider, Occupational Health or Peer Listener.

  • To contact a Mental Health First Aider or Health and Wellbeing Champion, please email rwh-tr.healthandwellbeing@nhs.net 
  • To be put in contact with a Peer Listener please contact amy.steadman4@nhs.net     
  • To contact the Occupational Health Team, please contact 01902 695450 or email rwh-tr.occupationalhealthrwh@nhs.net 
  • To contact the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Team please call 01902 695098 (ext. 85098).
  • Or, you may wish to contact our Employee Assistance Programme, who are available to provide help, advice and support 24-7  
  • Call FREE from a landline on 0800 111 6387, or visit www.my-eap.comusername: RWTwell

More support is also available to NHS staff through:

  • Samaritans ‘listening line’ for NHS staff: call 0300 131 7000 (open from 7am-11pm, seven days a week) 
  • Samaritans text support for NHS staff: send the text ‘FRONTLINE’ to 85258 to start a conversation 
  • Hospice UK’s Bereavement and Loss Support: call 0300 303 4434 (open from 7am-11pm, seven days a week) 
  • Hospice UK’s Bereavement and Trauma Support Line for our Filipino colleagues: call 0300 303 1115 (open to 8am-8pm, seven days a week)

Let’s start those conversations and keep them going.

Take care, 


A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham