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Published: 27 May 2021

North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) – Finalist 2021, Best Covid-19 Response

Being in the healthcare industry, the organisation was forced to react quickly to the pandemic. A new Covid-19 health and wellbeing team was introduced, initially supporting staff who had symptoms or were isolating. This expanded into providing physical, emotional and practical support, as well as financial advice.

At the start of the pandemic, a survey was sent to staff who were parents or carers, asking them what help they needed. As a result, carers leave was increased to two weeks and focus groups were arranged to identify issues faced by parents.

Agile working was implemented more widely with new technology, so staff who were able to work remotely could do so with flexible working patterns.

Practical support was offered to parents and carers, with dedicated information packs including childcare support, balancing home-working and schooling, and monitoring children’s mental health during lockdown.

A new parents and carers network provides a forum for parents to come together to share concerns and experiences, and signpost to further support.

There has also been an emphasis on physical support to aid mental health. Live fitness classes have connected colleagues virtually.

Staff turnover has decreased by 38% since March 2020 and in a recent survey 67% of staff were satisfied with the opportunities for flexible working.