It’s not just ITUs and critical care that have felt the pressure during the COVID crisis—the ripples of its effects have impacted the entire NHS, including mental health units.
A Trust in Birmingham approached us for help sourcing extra shower facilities for their inpatient sites where they had patients who’d tested positive for coronavirus. We helped them to cost various options—different size units, rental periods, power, changing marquees, furniture, fencing, and consumables—so they could focus on patient care and make an informed decision about the most cost-effective and best way to meet their need for expanded temporary facilities.
The team then introduced them to a supplier, Greentree, who fitted the showers across three sites.
This is just one way the People Powered team can apply their knowledge of infrastructure to help the NHS and other frontline services to increase their capacity to meet demand.
Got a similar need? Get in touch and we can help you find the right option for your organisation.
Looking after our mental health at a time like this is very important, so we wanted to share some resources from organisations and schemes that can help support events and entertainment industry workers through this difficult and ever-changing time.
Those of you who are self-employed can start applying for government support on the SEISS scheme from this week. No one likes paperwork, but there’s a really comprehensive and easy to follow guide here that might help you assemble what you need and reduce the stress of the application process a little.
The event and entertainment industries have been hit particularly hard and we’re all dealing with any number of different stressors, from financial worries to concerns about friends and family, from the loss of routine and the sense of comradery we experience at work to general uncertainty about our future. Stress Matters is a charity set up to support mental health specifically in our industry and they have a number of different ways for you to access help.
You can call or text their confidential helpline on 07481 362 111 and talk to a Mental Health First Aider who understands the particular challenges we’re all facing in the entertainment and event industries. It’s open 8am to 8pm and you can talk or WhatsApp about what’s worrying you, free of judgement. If you’ve never used a service like this before, it might be daunting to take the first step, but you’ll be talking to someone who gets where you’re coming from and wants to support you.
If you don’t feel you need support from someone with specific mental health training but might just like to talk things through with a neutral person, you can sign up to the Support Buddy scheme. This is a system set up specially for events industry people, particularly freelancers. You’ll be paired with a peer and support each other’s wellbeing by listening, rather than attempting to fix problems, and share each other’s load. One of the best ways to support your own mental health is to reach out and help other people.
If you’re feeling unable to cope or need help at night, the Samaritans are there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can call on 116 123, email firstname.lastname@example.org or even write them a letter:
Chris Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK PO Box 9090 STIRLING FK8 2SA
If you call, you can usually speak to someone straight away unless they’re very busy. Emails are usually answered within 24 hours and letters within 7 days (you’ll get a handwritten reply that you can keep and refer to when you need it). Volunteers are trained to listen and help you talk through your concerns, whatever they are.
There’s also some great info on their website with breathing exercises and relaxation techniques that you can try on your own.
Headspace are offering free meditations during the COVID crisis, including walking at home, dealing with panic, and relieving stress.
CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) has lockdown tips from their ambassadors.
Mind has updated its info on anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, bereavement and more to take account of the impacts of coronavirus.
We’re all aware of the importance of hygiene right now, especially for clinics and medical centres. So when Five Star Loos generously donated several crates of hand sanitiser, we worked with the team at TRO to swiftly collect the donation and take them to where they were needed at OneNorwich practices.
The East of England Ambulance Service reached out to us for help sourcing vehicles for driver training. Our friends at Neon Street, who usually provide luxury tour vans to the entertainment industry and take musicians and comedians across the UK and Europe, were only too happy to help.
Phil Pethybridge of Neon Street said, “We heard on Friday that some vehicles may be needed, and as all touring is on hold, we wanted to help by offering our fleet. We got the confirmation call on Monday and by Tuesday morning, the vans were in place at the Ambulance Station, ready to ‘Rock and Roll’.”
They provided two top-spec Mercedes-Benz Splitter Vans for driver training in the patient transport service, which will no doubt be a big help in keeping things moving.
Down in Hastings at the Conquest Hospital, we created a wobble room—a safe space where NHS staff can take a break and “have a wobble” away from patients—using donations from across the community.
The team used their know-how from putting together dressing rooms fit for A-listers in porta cabins, collecting furniture from Southern Rail and RU Comfy, and persuading Emmaus to open specially for us to collect some items. A local resident offered her wedding flowers as her Nan used to work in the hospital shop, and local artists offered 33 works of art for the project. Pieces by Sally De Souza, Karen Hollis, Eleanor Harris were chosen alongside a custom mirror from Alison Purdy, so staff can check their faces before leaving if they’ve used the space to have a cry.
These rooms are so important to support NHS worker’s wellbeing through this crisis and beyond, and more are planned.
If you know a hospital or Trust that would be intersted, get in touch.
So far, we’ve arranged for 300+ radios to go into ITUs, MERIT teams, and hospitals across the country, from some of the hardest hit London hospitals like Homerton, the Royal London, and Barts to Great Ormond Street, Taunton and Somerset, Royal Unites Hospital in Bath, the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, and across 10 midwifery units in the West Midlands.
These radios reduce the amount of PPE staff are going through when moving between COVID and non-COVID spaces and allow them to communicate effectively about treatment plans. They make a big difference. Our pals at Delta Live and Khaos have been incredible in supplying radios and getting them where they need to go:
PPE has been one of the biggest needs during the coronavirus crisis. We’ve been helping various Trusts, clinics, and care homes access what they need. In the East of England, our team distributed 600 visors and 500 shoe covers to 19 surgeries and clinics:
Our East of England team have been busy delivering PPE accross Norwich & surrounding areas incl 100’s of generously donated shoe covers. And because everyone needs access to tea & coffee, we dropped off a few borrowed coffee makers for #NHS staff in temporary #yellowsites too. pic.twitter.com/wkXE0M70u6
We also provided 4,000 ponchos to Kings to act as emergency stop-gap PPE while they waited on a delivery and more to a hospital in Grimsby, while in Edinburgh we helped to find a warehouse to help Med Supply Drive Scotland with storage and distribution.
Access to fresh food without doing battle with the empty shelves at the local supermarket is vital for key workers. To help, we provided an event catering company who’ve repurposed as a food bank for Basingstoke and Winchester hospital staff with a queuing system and some portaloos, and got some fridges into a hospital to keep the milk for those more-important-than-ever cuppas chilled:
Lovely to receive some photos from an #NHS hospital showing the fridges & freezers which we arranged on loan from a music tour catering provider – full of free food for frontline staff to take home after their shift. Thank you everyone who helped make this possible. #HereToHelppic.twitter.com/sdnYkzNHw7
At the Queen Victoria Memorial in Herne Bay, we helped source sinks for additional handwashing and advised on the best way to achieve a paving solution and what sort of tent best suited their needs. Our advice helped the staff to make quick decisions and identify the most cost-effective solutions.