Mental Wellness Champion
Individual or Team Nomination?
In these challenging times, nominators were asked to show how the nominee had demonstrated the following qualities:
- Exceptional work ethic - going above and beyond their job description, especially in the past 12 months.
- Outstanding achievement/s in work or outside of the organisation where relevant.
- Drive for innovation and proactive leadership in these challenging times.
- High level of interpersonal skills, such as kindness, empathy, loyalty and thoughtfulness to staff and patients.
- A resilience considering Covid to their role and to the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.
Nominee's story :
As the Head of Occupational Health and Wellbeing, Michaela Tarrant has overseen a cultural change at Solent NHS Trust which has led to improved mental health and wellbeing amongst the 4,000 members of #TeamSolent.
Michaela initially launched a pilot Health and Wellbeing Programme in 2019, with the aims of developing mental wellbeing awareness, emotional resilience, and mutual support.
A three-pronged approach was employed, the individual, the team, management support. Key to this was recognising that individuals’ needs differed and that the Trust needed to build on successes, an example being our lived experience stories and Menopause workshops, to ensure that everyone was free to bring their whole self to work.
In response to Covid, Michaela led on a tiered wellbeing response in April 2020, providing resources and support mechanisms based in part on existing programmes of work but including more depth and breadth for the wider team connection. In addition, the role of Health and Wellbeing Champions and Mental Health First Aiders were promoted, helping to embed the wellbeing culture and create sustainable behaviours, supported by compassionate leadership.
SEQOHS 2020 accreditation showed Solent had a “well led and organised Occupational Health and Wellbeing Service, with some excellent processes and documentation. The service should be congratulated on the excellent range of information provided to service users; commended on excellent clinical supervision and in particular the team Wellbeing initiative. “
Solent’s Listening into Action (Health Service Journal) 2020 results found the trust to be the ‘best in class’; we believe this is in part due to Michaela’s implementation of the Health and Wellbeing Programme.
Michaela ensured Solent was accepted onto the NHS Leadership Academy Reciprocal Mentoring for Inclusion Programme. Staff resource groups (BAME, DisAbility, LGBT+ Allies, Multifaith, Carers and Veterans) created a safe space for mental health and wellbeing, with over 100 members who are shaping “The Big Conversation”.
Schwartz Rounds, created by the Point of Care Foundation, were adapted to ‘Team Time’ sessions, open to all and delivered virtually. Attendance rose significantly, with 92% feeling that at least one of the stories presented was relevant to them, 82% reporting insights to help feel more calm, 78% believing they would work better with colleagues and 80% feeling more self-efficacious about their work with patients.
Feedback has included “thank you for normalising the emotions I have been feeling – the honesty, the trust of everyone who has shared” and “It’s really helpful and powerful to feel a bit less alone with these feelings”. We continue to run sessions virtually, reaching as many as possible.
Solent’s CQC inspection saw the inspectors note that: ‘the trust’s strategy, vision and values underpinned a culture which was patient centred. The culture was very positive, open, and honest, staff were listened to and heard. We found everyone we spoke with was extremely happy working at the trust.’
Michaela’s leadership on the mental health, resilience and wellbeing of Solent’s people during this critical time has been absolutely vital. We wholeheartedly recommend her for this award.