What we've been up to
Occupational health practitioner event
In March we held a two-day event in Stratford-Upon Avon where we brought together OH practitioners and professionals involved in the delivery of occupational health services across UK policing. The event included updates from our OH team, about the OH practitioner network and the importance of being involved.
Occupational Health Programme Lead Liz Eades said: “Sharing information, knowledge and best practice begins the vital processes of innovation and continuous improvement. Learning lessons from others saves time and facilitates rapid problem solving. This network gives a voice to police OH clinicians with the ability to influence national debate.”
John Harrison, interim Chief Medical Officer for policing, talked about the important work of the Police Covenant and how this fits within occupational health. He also introduced the enhanced and advanced occupational health standards, you can find them here.
Other inputs included:
- An in depth session on medical standards for recruits including a discussion on processes.
- An update from OHNAPS about their work and how they can support members.
- A personal account from the Superintendent Association’s President Paul Fotheringham on the importance of occupational health in his own policing career and that of other members.
- Details from Dr Robin Cordell on the Safe, Effective, Quality Occupational Health Service' standards.
- Update regarding the National Negotiator Psychological Surveillance programme update.
There was some great feedback from the event including this quote: ‘I thought this conference was massively interesting, the content rich, well organised and facilitated and just altogether very welcoming. I have taken so much from the days, lots of planning happening in my head now. It really bought to life the whole OH world’
New specialist bereavement counselling for policing
We have partnered with 'Just B' to provide police forces with free access to specialist bereavement counselling services.
If a serving officer or member of staff should tragically die in the execution of their duties or by suicide – this counselling service is now available to the officer or staff members’ family and their immediate colleagues.
While some forces already have great support in place, we have provided this as an option for those organisations who either do not yet have anything available or wish to build on what they already offer.
We have established this service as part our work in delivering the Police Covenant to increase the support on offer for police officers and staff and their families. It is free of charge to forces, funded by the National Police Wellbeing Service, full details have been shared with force wellbeing and occupational health teams.
This is just the first of many resources and services that we are building throughout 2023.
Nutrition for wellbeing webinar: Food for mood
In this our final webinar in the series, nutritionist Anna Earl looks at how what we eat can make a difference to our mood, including:
- How what we eat directly affects how we think and feel.
- The concept of inflammation, when it serves its purpose to support our immune system, and when it can be detrimental to our health.
- Which foods have a pro-inflammatory effect on the body? How can that negatively impact our mental health?
- What foods and nutrients are beneficial to supporting our mood?
You can access all our nutrition for wellbeing programme here
Better sleep webinar: Your questions answered
Earlier this week we held another 'Better Sleep' webinar hosted by sleep scientist Dr Sophie Bostock. In this session Sophie answers questions on all types of sleep related issues. The session was a real opportunity for participants to ask about the issues that were bothering them and get Sophie's expert advice on how to improve their sleep and fatigue.
You can access all our better sleep content here
Nutrition for wellbeing: Healthy snacks
In this short video, released in March, nutritionist Anna Earl looks at the healthy snacks we can have between meals. Anna talks about the reasons we snack, and the impact both short-term and long-term on the body. She gives advice on tasty, healthy snacks that can give more sustained energy for a longer period and still feel like a treat.
What's coming soon
Following on from the agreement of a suicide prevention consensus statement and the launch of our suicide postvention toolkit last year we are continuing our partnership with Samaritans to bring you a series of five new webinars.
These webinars investigate some challenging subjects including emotional wellbeing, self harm and suicide and are now available to book using the link below.
Sleeping for better mental health webinar
Mental Health Awareness Week starts on 15th May, the theme for this year is anxiety. Excessive worries and anxieties often keep us awake, either by making it harder to fall asleep, or waking us up in the early hours.
The good news is that taking action to improve your sleep can also reduce anxiety, and vice versa.
On Monday 15 May well be holding a brand new 'Better Sleep' webinar hosted by sleep scientist Dr Sophie Bostock. In this webinar, we’ll explore the evidence for 10 simple strategies that everyone could try on a daily basis to improve sleep and mental health.
National police wellbeing survey 2023
Next month will see the launch of our fourth national police wellbeing survey.
Each year we run our national policing wellbeing survey with the policing research unit at Durham University. The aim of the survey is to give every member of the policing workforce the opportunity to tell us how they truly feel at work so we can build a really clear picture of what we need to work on.
The link to the survey along with a full communications pack will be sent out to forces in the next few weeks.
Police communicators wellbeing toolkit
Next week we will be launching this brand new toolkit in collaboration with the Association of Police Communicators (APComm).
Developed by those currently working in the field it takes into consideration the different challenges police communicators are likely to face, such as major incidents, dealing with on-call duties and sleep deprivation, team resilience and agile working, tragedy involving children, or triggering incidents such as sexual assaults of domestic abuse.
It is split into six key areas that we think can make a significant difference to the health and wellbeing of staff working in communications roles.
The launch takes place as part of ApComm's virtual online academy and will be hosted on this website.
Launch of our 'Meaning' film
In June we will be launching the follow up to our 'Purpose' film, 'Meaning'.
The first film has been a huge success which the majority of police forces in England and Wales starting to roll it out.
This follow up film is about a mid service officer, focussing on the challenges and opportunities they are facing at work and in their personal life. Once again we will be creating a wrap around support package to help you facilitate it locally.
We are excited to be holding a premiere screening of 'Meaning' in London in June. More details on how you can get involve will be coming to forces soon.
Stress awareness month
May is stress awareness month, throughout the month we will be sharing advice and resources on our website and on social media, so keep an eye open for more.