The Homerton Hospital’s staff wellbeing programme is set to receive a cash boost thanks to the fundraising efforts of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore.
The hospital has introduced ‘wobble rooms’ for exhausted staff, feelgood trolleys that visit wards with snacks and drinks, and psychological, emotional, spiritual, and bereavement support.
It has also rolled out gynaecology clinics for staff, and dermatological care for those suffering skin problems from frequent hand-washing and constant PPE use.
These efforts have now been bolstered by thousands of pounds from the charity set up to distribute the millions raised for the NHS by Captain Tom, who died in February at the age of 100.
A hospital spokesperson said: “What we are looking at going forward in terms of spend, and this is money we got from the Captain Tom charity, is to invest in the long-term in chill-out or relaxation places, permanently, in different parts of the hospital.
“The funding is there because the idea of the Captain Tom money was to invest into staff wellbeing, so we and I’m sure other hospitals are thinking this is the way forward.”
The hospital has now started to return to its regular intensive care capacity, with no Covid patients currently in ICU and around a dozen patients being treated for the virus in the hospital as a whole.
According to the latest figures, 49 cases were reported in Hackney last week, representing a rate of 17 cases per 100,000 in the borough – a two per cent decline on the previous week.
Homerton ‘s ability to handle A&E patients is slowly rising, with work ongoing to tackle the backlog waiting for routine elective surgery, while balancing the need for drained staff to recover.
The Homerton has 162 patients who have been waiting for care for over a year, not including those waiting for non-urgent cancer treatment.
It is understood that some staff are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), though the hospital could not confirm how many have been diagnosed.
A study published in the journal Occupational Medicine in January showed that about 45 per cent of NHS intensive care staff have reported symptoms consistent with PTSD, such as severe depression and anxiety.
A spokesperson added: “We’re now looking to the summer of this year, getting back to elective routine surgery as quickly as possible and clearing the lists. We’ll be trying to address that as a priority.
“It is a balance, but the priority to some extent must be to giving staff a breather as much as possible, those who have been on the frontline.”
Staff began receiving the second dose of the Covid vaccine last week, and take-up remains high at over 80 per cent.
Staff members identified as being doubtful or hesitant are being spoken to by vaccine champions, as the hospital works alongside the rest of the health service to tackle misinformation.
All of this work continues amid warnings of a potential third wave as infection rates rise in Europe.
The Homerton spokesperson concluded: “We don’t think Covid is going away, because it is not. The hospital continues to be in a state of preparedness.”
You can find out more about how to donate to the Homerton Hope charity here.