Staff at Walsall Manor Hospital will be able to take short power naps thanks to the installation of energy pods and recliner chairs that are being trialled over the next six months.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust wants to encourage staff at all levels of the organisation to take some time out during their busy, and often challenging, shifts.
This may be junior doctors who have worked overnight and face a long drive home, staff working overnight who need a rest or staff who have had to deal with a particularly distressing incident who need a few minutes of peace and quiet.
The company Metronap has loaned the trust two energy pods and two recliner chairs and these were installed today (Friday 12 April).
Dr Esther Waterhouse who is Director of Postgraduate Medical Education for Walsall Healthcare said: ”We expect our staff to provide safe and effective care to our patients and it’s just as important that we look after the health and wellbeing of these staff.
“Many junior doctors have placements in hospitals a good distance from their homes and Walsall is no exception. There have been cases across the country where junior doctors have died whilst driving home after a night shift; if they can have a short power nap before setting out research shows that this helps the body to refresh. But the pods and chairs are for all to use and we look forward to hearing staff feedback following this trial period.”
Catherine Griffiths, Director for People and Culture at the trust said the pods had proved successful at a previous Black Country trust she had worked at.
She added: “Staff safety and wellbeing impacts patient safety and wellbeing and we want our colleagues to know the importance of taking short breaks to recharge their batteries whilst working in this incredibly busy, fast paced environment.
“As well as being used for a power nap the pods and recliners will benefit staff who have had to deal with a distressing, challenging or stressful situation. They can take a few minutes to collect their thoughts and relax before returning to work.
“Our Trust Board fully supports this initiative and throughout staff briefings this week we have been encouraging colleagues to make use of Metronap’s loan items with a view to permanent installation if feedback is positive.”
Dr Hesham Abdalla, Consultant Paediatrician, tried out a pod this afternoon.
“It’s very comfortable and this is a great way to support our workforce and show how important their welfare is,” he said.