The Scottish Government has announced £8 million in funding for health and social care workforce wellbeing support.
A new National Wellbeing programme will be rolled out, with the funding used to develop a National Wellbeing Hub, an online resource for staff, unpaid carers, and volunteers to get support for their mental health, and signposts users to relevant services.
The National Wellbeing Helpline, which operates 24-hours-a-day, seven days-a-week to support staff and their wellbeing, will also benefit from the investment. While, around £2 million of the total funding will be allocated to social care and primary care staff who have worked in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Health and social care staff have responded to the pandemic with extraordinary fortitude, often working in unfamiliar settings, learning new skills and undertaking new roles. We owe them a great debt of gratitude for their continued hard work, commitment and professionalism.”
“We are committed to supporting our NHS and social care staff now and into the future. The wellbeing of staff remains a critical priority that will influence the way that our health and social services recover.
“We know that the pandemic has affected staff in a range of ways and this £8 million package of support will help us meet the basic practical and emotional needs which workers tell us are right for them, alongside more specialised mental health support where this is needed.”
British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland chair, Lewis Morrison added: “Scotland’s doctors and indeed all NHS staff have been through an incredibly tough time over the course of the pandemic, so extra investment in support for their wellbeing is welcome. The BMA have been absolutely clear that NHS recovery won’t be possible unless it goes hand-in-hand with staff recovery – and this funding is a step towards making that a reality.
“Practical measures like peer support, enabling reflective practice and improved availability and quality of rest spaces are all things the BMA have pushed for and will help staff working incredibly hard on the frontline to care for patients. It is vital this is now built on so doctors and their colleagues feel truly valued and get the help they need to do their job effectively and in a caring and supportive environment.”