What we've been up to
Emergency Responder Mental Health and Wellbeing Symposium
On Wednesday 1 November 2023, we were proud to host the third annual Emergency Responder Mental Health and Wellbeing Symposium in Manchester.
The symposium was held on behalf of the Emergency Responders Senior Leader’s Board which this year, is chaired by current Chair of the NPCC, CC Gavin Stephens. The event brought together senior leaders, practitioners and front-line staff to share best practice across the emergency services sector to support the mental health and wellbeing of its workforces.
We were honoured for our 2023 event to have an opening address via video message from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and for the event to be hosted by former BBC Breakfast presenter, Dr Sian Williams, who is now a Chartered Psychologist working in the NHS, supporting police officers, firefighters and ambulance staff.
Throughout the day several significant issues were addressed, including suicide prevention, post incident and trauma support, prevention and management of psychological stress and organisational culture, specifically reducing misogyny and improving sexual safety.
In order to properly learn and understand an issue, it is crucial to hear the voices of those directly affected with personal experience. So, in addition to our subject matter expert speakers, there was two lived experience panels during the day. The first made up of family members from three emergency services, who discussed the challenges faced by the families of emergency responders. The second lived experience panel focussed on the very complex and sensitive issue of suicide.
A full round up of all the sessions will be in our next bulletin.
Supporting police families: Brand new resources now available for families of police officers and staff
We are delighted to launch a range of new resources to support the loved ones of police officers and staff.
Working in policing is tough and not just for the person employed to do the job. There’s no doubt it has an impact on families and loved ones. Whether that’s a parent concerned about their daughter out on the beat, a couple missing out on time together, or people trying to manage a young family and shifts.
The ‘Family Life’ programme includes:
- Toolkits and education - These resources, now available in our Family Life section, provide invaluable insights and practical advice on navigating the challenges faced by police families in key areas such as mental health, communicating with children, finances and the challenges of living with a shift worker.
- Helping families of serving officers and staff ‘feel seen’ and acknowledged for the crucial role that they play. We will be launching our 'Thank you' campaign in December.
- Families and force engagement – we’re recruiting a co-ordinators role which will work with forces to support them to implement the tools, education and resources developed by the programme and gather valuable insight from both forces and families.
- Bereavement Counselling Support for families of officers and staff who tragically die in the execution of their duties or by suicide – this is already live having been launched earlier in 2023 – more information on that here Bereavement counselling service.
- Launch of a children’s book: Authored by a member of police staff, this book aims to help children understand why a parent or carer in policing might miss family meals or bedtime stories. It is set to launch in March 2024, coinciding with World Book Day.
Stress and trauma digital course launched
We have worked with Me Learning and the College of Policing to develop this digital learning course to give officers, staff and the wider policing family (such as volunteers) basic information on stress, trauma, and wellbeing.
All officers, staff and the wider policing family should be aware of the incidents or situations that can cause anxiety, depression, burnout and traumatic stress in themselves, their colleagues, and the community members who they interact with.
This course is intended for all police officers and staff particularly those in front-line roles, officer and staff supervisors and all force learning and development personnel.
Access the training
To access the course you must have a College Learn account, available to anyone with a .police.uk email, they can be created on the College of Policing website Once you are logged in just search Stress and Trauma Level 1, the course lasts around 50 minutes.
If you have difficulties accessing College Learn please contact the College Customer Contact Centre at [email protected]
Have you taken our survey on driver fatigue?
Thank you to everyone who has already taken part in our survey on sleepiness and driving in policing.
The survey involves a series of questions about your wellbeing, experiences of sleep and fatigue, your shiftwork patterns, and your driving behaviours. Your responses will be completely anonymous: All data will be handled by Nottingham Trent University and your colleagues/supervisors cannot know your individual responses.
We want to hear from any employees who work in any capacity for the Police service. Please make sure you submit your responses before the 1st of December. This survey can take up to around an hour to complete, and completing it enters you into a prize draw to win a £100 Amazon voucher. Your data will help us create interventions that limit sleep-related road collisions in police shift-workers.
Prize draw winners so far
The following have won a £100 Amazon voucher by taking part:
1. ER414ST40 2. gh583ap183 3. am466fe40 4. On202Oc233 5. LD681MA59
6. ea921ma92 7. IN563MA336 8. an772Ja71 9. AM948MA85 10. rn279ap670
Is one of these codes yours? If so, please contact [email protected] with the unique fact that you created alongside this code in the survey, they will be in touch to send you your £100 Amazon voucher! If you did not win this time, you will still be entered into future prize draws.
Sleep, fatigue and recovery biometrics programme continues to be rolled out
On the 2nd and 3rd November, NPWS Service Director Andy Rhodes visited Cheshire Police and Staffordshire Police to on-board 40 officers and staff, at each force, into the sleep, fatigue and recovery biometrics programme.
The programme is currently expanding out to a further ten forces, following on from Merseyside Police where the initial pilots have been carried out, in partnership with Liverpool John Moore’s University. Officers and staff taking part come from roles where poor sleep and fatigue has been identified as a risk, they include OCIAT, SOMU, RASSO, Response, firearms, collision investigation and contact management.
DCI Zoe Kelsall, Staffordshire Police Specialist Crime Command PPU who is the local lead for the sleep fatigue recovery biometrics programme said:
"As a senior investigator I ask a lot of my people because the pace, pressure and impact of the work affects them in so many different ways. We’ve normalised being exhausted, struggling to switch off from what has happened during the day, and having problems sleeping, so I was intrigued when the ACC asked me to get involved in Oscar Kilo’s sleep fatigue and recovery biometrics programme. The on-boarding session was fascinating and the staff who are taking part really took a lot away from the inputs. We now have 40 staff from frontline investigation roles such as RASSO and PPU wearing the Biostrap sensors and they are all talking about their sleep and recovery data in the office every day – this wasn’t happening before. The educational and coaching support kicks in soon and the feedback so far is that staff feel like we’re doing something tangible and personalised whilst also starting to understand what changes we can make in the workplace to help them recover.
For further information on how to get involved please get in touch using the button below.
Peer support update
October was a very busy month for peer support training with us delivering 15 online courses and one face to face course in Warwickshire, these training courses saw 149 delegates attending from 12 forces.
We have started to run peer support co-ordinator courses and peer support refresher courses and are booking courses for 2024. If you are interested in attending any courses please get in touch.
After delivering the Warwickshire training we received this feedback:
“We have just received Oscar Kilo Peer Supporter training last week led by Lee Taylor and Dr Tony Parnell. The training was excellent; well-planned; informative and very engaging. Colleagues said that they thoroughly enjoyed the training and the support Lee and Tony have given Warwickshire Police and our peer support network has been invaluable to us. As a result, we are facilitating a peer supporter CPD where we will share the College of Policing model, this will inform our ongoing practice and positive move forward. Thanks”
Nutrition for wellbeing, five day shift worker meal planning
Ever wondered how to prioritise your health and nutrition while managing the demands of your unconventional work schedule? Shift work can be challenging when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet.
Do you struggle to cook healthy meals on a regular basis? Particularly on a night shift, do you resort to fast food and ready meals? If these questions resonate with you, you're not alone. The irregular hours, fatigue, and limited food options during night shifts can make it difficult to make nutritious choices. Your health and energy can be impacted as a result.
In this five day meal planning solution, we will work together to help you develop a meal plan tailored to your unique needs as shift workers. We'll address the common challenges you face and provide practical solutions to ensure that you can enjoy delicious, nourishing meals no matter what time of day or night you're working.
Occupational health update
October has been a busy month for our occupational health team. They have been supporting national recruitment medical standards work which is now in full flow.
The team attended and supported the OHNAPS (OH Nurse Advisors to the Police Service) conference at the College of Policing, Ryton, talk about the work they are doing to support occupational health practitioners. They also hosted the first forum for force medical advisers, which generated lots of positive interest.
Our occupational health practitioner network continues to grow - a review of the network one year after its launch, concluded that the network is successful, therefore we will continue to develop and grow.
We are currently completing our latest review of the OH submissions to the BLWF, where there is definite evidence if improvement.
New sections on our homepage
If you are a regular visitor to the Oscar Kilo website, you may have noticed we've made a few changes to the homepage.
We now have four sections, they are: For individuals; For organisations; For families and; For leavers.
We hope this will make it much easier for you, your family and your organisation to find relevant support and programmes whilst introducing other associated resources and signposting.
What's coming soon
Wellbeing of investigators week of action
Next week, 13-17 November, is the wellbeing of investigators week of action.
Developed and facilitated by the NPCC Recruitment Retention and Wellbeing of Investigators Portfolio, the week of action will involve a variety of daily webinars to share best practice and encourage national debate. Much of this work is included or aligned to the investigator wellbeing toolkit, which is republished with updated guidance and interventions.
You can find a full description of each of the sessions and register for any you are interested in using the link below. Formal Teams invitations will be sent no later than 24 hours before the event and ticket sales close at 12 noon the day before each session, with an exception of those taking place on the 13 November which will close at noon on 10 November to allow invitations to be sent.
Breast health and bra support webinar
This webinar takes place on 23 November at 4pm and will be facilitated by Dr Jenny Burbage and Bethany Canty from Portsmouth University’s School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Science.
During the session Jenny and Beth will talk you through the breast health educational resources now available on the Oscar Kilo website. This will include information on breast anatomy, problems with breasts (such as size, pain and damage), breast changes over the life cycle, what is appropriate breast support and how to assess bra fit. They will also give you information about a current research project looking into the effect of operational equipment and bra type interaction on breast motion and perceived comfort in female police officers.
National Police Wellbeing Survey results
In the next few weeks we will be publishing the results of the 2022/23 National Police Wellbeing Survey. We will let you know the main findings and full report through our website and on social media. You can read about our previous surveys.
New 24/7 mental health crisis hotline for policing
At the Police Federation conference the Home Secretary spoke about her support for a number of high profile programmes of work currently in development. She also announced the investment into a 24/7 mental health crisis hotline for police officers and staff which will be launched by the Oscar Kilo the National Police Wellbeing Service next year.
We are currently developing this and will bring you further updates in future bulletins.
Oscar Kilo Leavers programme
In the coming months we will be launching our brand new leavers programme. Its aim is to support a successful transition and give those who are leaving, and those who have left, useful information regarding the help that is available, and encourage them to create their own plan of action. Further details will be in December's bulletin.
Events and training
Don't forget to check out our events and training section for a full list of what's on offer.