Headsted, Anglo-Finnish developers of online psychological therapies and an early beneficiary of Care IQ’s Launch IQ approach, has launched an innovative intervention supporting the workforce of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, aimed at helping people cope with workplace stress. ‘Shift Your Stress’ is an online five weeks programme based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Pennine Care is the first NHS Trust to provide this ground-breaking approach to its employees through their Staff Wellbeing Service. Recognising the unique challenges that face healthcare staff, the FT has determined to innovate and secure an opportunity to deliver a therapeutic intervention that maximises access to approximately 6,000 employees.
This initiative builds on the priorities set out by NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens earlier in September 2015, in which he announced a major drive to improve the health and wellbeing of 1.3m NHS staff, in a bid to benefit both staff and taxpayers.
Dr Kirsikka Kaipainen, Headsted’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to deliver Shift Your Stress to such a pioneering NHS Trust. The programme is designed for all industries, but we are particularly excited that we are helping people engaged with caring for others, a crucially important and valuable but often stressful line of work”.
Shift Your Stress is now available to all people employed by Pennine Care NHS FT, and critically does not require individuals to meet with their manager, occupational health, or counsellor…referral is made directly to the Staff Wellbeing Service. By virtue of being offered online, the programme is available at a time of convenience to the user, supporting staff working shifts and with family commitments.
Pennine Care’s adoption of an inventive and user-friendly solution to employee wellbeing highlights the importance and recognition by healthcare organisations that a new, more dynamic and flexible approach is required to promote positive psychological health among their staff.
Katie Kay, Manager of Pennine Care’s Staff Wellbeing service, stated: “We know that mental health issues are among the highest causes of staff absence nationally within the NHS and can also impact on our staff’s ability to perform in their jobs. The Staff Wellbeing Service supports employees through their emotional and psychological difficulties and staff tell us the service makes them feel valued and cared for and has made them happier and more productive at work. We are pleased to be able to offer the online Shift Your Stress programme as another form of support.”
Headsted, led by Professor Raimo Lappalainen (University of Jyväskylä), an eminent authority on psychological therapies, is experiencing significant and growing global interest in their evidence based delivery of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
ACT is a third generation Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It uses metaphors and experiential exercises to aid in gaining distance from persistent negative thoughts and emotions, and in experiencing awareness of the present moment. ACT involves mindfulness exercises and emphasises values clarification and living life according to one’s values.
The focus and momentum provided by Care IQ’s Launch IQ mechanism is enabling the exceptional realisation of commercial ambitions for the Headsted team.
David Lees, Care IQ’s Director of UK Service Delivery, commented: “The ongoing progress, interest and excitement associated with the Headsted offering are testament to the structure and dynamics within the Launch IQ catapult. We are delighted to support our partners to gain speedy success in the healthcare arena”.