Katie Smith, Health and Wellbeing and Know Your Numbers Coordinator, works with departments directly to offer this service, speaking to the relevant managers and setting-up pop-up clinics in areas where people go for a break. The ambition is to give colleagues easy access to these healthy checks, ensuring they have every opportunity to know their numbers.
Speaking about the project, Katie said: “Due to the nature of our work in the Trust, colleagues don’t always get the chance to leave the ward or their service area, As such, we are bringing wellbeing services to staff, offering to check their blood pressure and their body mass index (BMI), as well as advice for follow-ups.
“It’s about giving staff that awareness and ability to take a proactive approach to their own health. The nature of our jobs mean that we are all very good at looking after other people, but sometimes we do not show the same care to ourselves – and this needs to change.”
“If we pick up that a colleagues’ blood pressure is high, we can then give the advice that needs to be given, get them to go to their local practice and look at how we can support in their workplace. By offering this service, we may be picking up potential issues earlier, and at time when whatever the issue is can be solved with some timely advice and signposting.”
The project is funded for 12 months by South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (SYB ICS) and Katie, with the support of the wider Health and Wellbeing team, has managed to see 378 colleagues since the project began. The clinics take place across all three sites (Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital, and Montagu Hospital), as well as the Trust’s external locations.
One colleague who opted to take up the ‘Know your Numbers’ service said: “I decided at the last minute to pop-in and I’m glad I did. Katie was very friendly and welcoming and went above and beyond in letting me know what’s available to me to help with weight loss and healthy living. She also checked my blood pressure, and the rechecked a few more times as it was very high – at crisis level – and advised me to contact my GP. I contacted the doctor the same day and was given an immediate prescription of medication to help reduce it.
“Thankfully, my blood pressure reduced significantly with both the medication and an immediate lifestyle/diet change. Due to the nature of hypertension, I didn’t have any significant symptoms, therefore Katie and this session could well have saved my life. My sincere thanks for the help and support offered – I highly recommend this session.”
Zoe Lintin, Chief People Officer at the Trust, said: “I am incredibly proud of the work of our Health and Wellbeing team, and this is another fantastic addition to our offer for colleagues. As Katie has already alluded to, within the NHS we are so focused on the care of others, we can sometimes forget about ourselves – to take a few minutes to ensure that we are physically, and mentally, well. By offering these tests in a place and time that is convenient, we are able to ensure that we are looking after our teams as much as we can, signposting to advice if they need it, or simply giving people peace of mind.”