Coronavirus and Staff Well-Being29th May 2020
Last week was Mental Health Awareness week; a campaign hosted by the Mental Health Foundation to raise awareness of mental health and promote positive mental health for all.
The River’s Trust recently wrote a news article on their website about Mental Health Awareness Week, all about the positive impact nature can have on one’s mood. However, like many other organisations, it talked about Covid-19’s impact on our mental health and well-being.
From having to isolate, in some cases alone, to losing family members to the virus and having loved ones on the front-line, the Pandemic has brought along disruption and uncertainty, which overall can increase anxiety, especially for our brave NHS staff and their families.
One topic that is being frequently discussed in regard to NHS staff well-being is how BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) groups within the NHS seem to be disproportionately affected by Coronavirus. Early research from The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre found that 35% of almost 2,000 patients in intensive care units were from minority ethnic backgrounds.
The Guardian’s analysis found that of the NHS staff who have died in the pandemic so far, 68% are BAME.
In an Instagram Live, Dr. Koyes recently spoke to BBC Asian Network Presenter, TV & Radio Host and Barrister Nadia Ali on how BAME communities are being more affected by Coronavirus and gave some statistics and reasons as to why this could be.
View this post on Instagram
Please join me for my first ever Instagram Live Chat, with BBC Asian Network Presenter, TV & Radio Host, and Barrister, Nadia Ali (@simplynadiaali), this Monday 18th May 2020, at 9.30pm GMT. ⠀ We will be talking about the effect of coronavirus on BAME communities – and the significant impact it has had. ⠀ Happy to take any questions beforehand, if you have any? ⠀ Hope to see you then! 😊
He said: “One third (33%) of patients that are in critical care because of the virus are within the BAME community and the first ten doctors that passed away were sadly within BAME communities which is quite alarming considering they only make up probably 19% of the population or less”.
“One of the things we have to think about is poverty – people from BAME communities often come from more poverty-stricken backgrounds. Secondly a third of Bangladeshi households come from overcrowded homes in comparison to only 2% of White/Caucasian households being overcrowded.”
“Intergenerational households are also a factor within BAME communities as you have younger household members going to school, college or work and therefore increasing the risk of infecting vulnerable grandparents.”
In light of these numbers, it was further reported that to protect BAME staff’s well-being and their families; the NHS has been looking into taking BAME staff off the front-line and reassigned duties in an attempt to reduce their disproportionately high death rate.
NHS Trusts across the country have also been doing whatever they can to look after their BAME staff’s well-being.
Unsung Hero Award winners from this year, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group from Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTH) won the Corporate Services Award for their outstanding contribution to WUTH, driving the Diversity and Inclusion agenda forward, which included a staff network to support LGBT, Disability and BAME staff.
Check out our video below featuring the Diversity and Inclusion Steering group to hear more about their achievements over the past year:
Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust have been using the funds raised for their charity at the 2020 Gala to go towards their NHS staff on the front-line.
Fundraising Manager, Emma Kovaleski, informed the Unsung Hero Awards that the Trust have funded 80 boxes that have gone through Infection Prevention into staff areas such as the kitchen, living areas and a ‘Wobble Room’ in the ICU department where staff can go if they’re having a ‘wobble’ and need some time out.
Another 2020 winner, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital has also been seen taking care of their staff with gentle socially distanced exercises in their Health and Wellbeing Hub.
We hope our fantastic NHS staff, including Non-Medical and Non-Clinical staff of all ethnic backgrounds are looking after themselves while protecting us and we can’t wait to celebrate the achievements again of our shortlisted nominees once the next Unsung Hero Awards are organised.
You can follow the BAME Project on Twitter to support the project delivered by local volunteers.
For more information on Coronavirus, click on the links below:
There is also a well being hotline to support staff and volunteers as they help people deal with the Coronavirus:
Lily Harrison, Freelance Writer at Unsung Hero Awards