Cobalt Hospital was built in 2005. The hospital is a single level building and is a modern, purpose-built unit designed for the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of conditions on a day case basis. We provide fast, convenient, effective, and high-quality treatment for patients of all ages (excluding children below the age of 18 years), whether medically insured, self-pay, or from the NHS. North Tyneside Integrated Commissioning Board is our lead commissioner of NHS Services.
We are the only independent sector health care provider to sign up to the Better Health at Work Award. Having completed our Bronze award and recently submitted our Silver award; we are now beginning to work towards our Gold award, starting with the planning and organising of our health campaigns. Key focus areas were highlighted from a staff health needs analysis survey which was conducted for both the Bronze and Silver Awards. Each campaign brought its own challenge and benefits from healthy eating, increased exercise, alcohol awareness and all the associated links to health and wellbeing. As a health care provider, we have worked continuously during the COVID-19 epidemic in support of the NHS. The wellbeing of our staff has been paramount during this time and taking part in the BHAWA has been an enormous support.
As part of our wellbeing strategy at Cobalt Hospital, we looked at ways of extending further support to our staff, patients, and the wider community, aligning with our company policy and protocols. We set the intention to prioritise staff health needs, by opening up to extra levels of support. In the wake of Covid, there was a significant increase in those suffering with mental health issues and an alarming increase in reported cases of domestic violence against women and the devastating impact on children and families as a result.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Champion
In light of this and as part of The Better Health at Work Campaign Dianne Luther was inspired to train as a Domestic Violence Champion to help support staff and patients who may be experiencing abuse. The workplace can be a lifeline for survivors of domestic abuse as it offers an opportunity to seek help. Good work also provides physical and mental health benefits. Providing opportunities for employees who are affected by abuse to remain in work can therefore support their wellbeing over the long-term.
Dianne completed the Domestic and Sexual Violence Champion training and found the course hard-hitting but very powerful to help create positive change in the workplace. Our main aims were to increase awareness of domestic abuse, recognising the signs, responding appropriately following disclosure, recording information, and providing resources for our staff, patients and visitors at the hospital.
A visual display was created and strategically placed to compliment the safeguarding information in the main reception areas for staff, patients and visitors alike. These included leaflets and posters with information and contact numbers for relevant services. The Domestic Violence Champion was identified as a central point of contact and a poster was placed in toilets, staff rest rooms and notice board areas, clearly stating who the Champion is with contact information.
Our monthly staff forum is generally attended by 80% of our entire staff so was therefore the perfect opportunity to help raise awareness about abuse. Dianne delivered a presentation as Domestic Violence Champion and conversations opened up with staff of all genders around a subject which is often taboo and shrouded in darkness and secrecy. Feedback from staff was encouraging and generally very positive. Further training and development will be ongoing. The hope is that these measures can help develop a culture in the workplace that helps address domestic violence.
For information on joining the programme contact Maureen Turner, Health Improvement Practitioner Specialist, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on 0191 270 4514 or visit www.betterhealthatworkne.org