Thanks to £27,900 from our appeal to Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust can now significantly increase the amount of support offered to staff who have experienced trauma at work or home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Trust had launched a successful Trauma Resilience Management Programme (TRiM) pilot before the pandemic, but the funding means more staff in need of someone to talk to about their experiences can access a support network of colleagues who have undergone the training.

Dr Callum Gardner, the Trust’s Medical Director, said:

“We are so proud of all our staff at the Trust for how they have come together in such unprecedented and difficult circumstances. Whether they are a porter, admin staff, a doctor or nurse – everyone has played their part in keeping the NHS going.

“However, we appreciate it has been an incredibly difficult time and we have a moral duty to care for our staff. To be caring and to work together is part of Trust values and we hope by offering access to this kind of peer support, it shows our colleagues that their mental health and wellbeing is really important to us.”

The TRiM programme originated in the UK Armed Forces and supports the mental health and wellbeing of people who have experienced potentially upsetting or traumatic events.

The Trust now has 30 TRiM practitioners, with colleagues taking on the volunteer role in addition to their usual duties. They are trained to understand the effects that traumatic events can have on people. They are not counsellors or therapists but can simply be there to listen in confidence, with compassion, and signpost to other support services. Trust colleagues can also talk about work or personal issues affecting their lives.

Zoe Noon, a TRiM practitioner alongside her role as Foundation Programme Administrator for Post Graduate Medical Education at the Trust, said:

“One colleague’s experience particularly resonated with me as they wanted to talk about a personal issue which was also affecting their mental health and ability to cope at work. Although this colleague worried that it was trivial at a time when so many people were poorly with coronavirus, it was incredibly upsetting for them. They were mourning the loss of an important life event. I helped this colleague talk it through and they felt more positive, less like a coiled spring, and more able to get back to work. I was an independent, confidential listening ear and someone who could help them feel able to cope. It shows that TRiM works for staff who have experienced something traumatic in their personal lives, as well as those with work issues.”

The overall programme will be evaluated by the Trust in conjunction with Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Sciences Network and the Patient Safety Translational Research Centre at the Bradford Institute of Health Research.