Researchers from the University of Aberdeen have developed an innovative new app to support the mental wellbeing of frontline NHS workers.
Amid a period of increased pressure on frontline workers, the app has been designed to help improve worker satisfaction, mental health and resilience among personnel who may be struggling.
The ‘How was your day?’ app launched this week as part of a collaboration with Edinburgh-based startup, Trickle.
Initially, the app will be available to all trainee doctors in NHS Lothian and all healthcare workers in the Acute Medicine Unit in NHS Tayside, with a view to rolling it out to more frontline staff in the future.
The app will ask users to rate how they are feeling throughout the day and collate how their mood is affected by their activity at work. The results will be reported to the user and to their respective health board each week and be used to inform constructive changes to working practices.
Users themselves will also receive weekly reports encouraging them to focus on the aspects that have previously resulted in them having good days, whilst also providing participating NHS Board teams with a live view of where interventions are needed most.
Scottish Government Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey MSP, said the roll-out of the app will play a crucial role in helping some of the nation’s most vital workers.
“We are all extremely grateful for our health and social care staff, who have continued to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic. With a second phase of Covid-19 and additional winter pressures, I know our frontline workers continue to face increased anxiety and fatigue due to the unprecedented public health challenge we continue to face,” she said.
“That’s why we supported the development of this innovative app, which could help improve and maintain the wellbeing of those working at the frontline.”
Funded by Scotland’s Chief Scientist Office, Dr Kim Walker from Aberdeen’s Centre for Healthcare Research Education and Innovation (CHERI) was awarded more than £200,000 as part of its Rapid Research in Covid-19 programme.
Dr Walker said the app will continue to support healthcare workers well beyond the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am very excited that we are launching this app development as a direct result of our study in which we interviewed over 100 doctors in every Scottish health board, with a view to help improve their wellbeing and resilience not only now but in the future,” she said.
“Ultimately, we want to ensure that doctors feel valued and supported by their organisation.”
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Speaking to DIGIT, Trickle founder and CEO Paul Reid said: “We’re delighted that our Trickle platform will be supporting the wellbeing, mental health and happiness of vital NHS frontline workers, who are going above and beyond to meet the demands of the ongoing pandemic.
“Trickle was formed around the belief that giving your people a voice and way to speak up openly is key to building happier, more inclusive and psychologically safe workplaces where people can truly thrive.”
Reid warned that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, organisations must re-think how they interact with employees and focus heavily on staff wellbeing.
“Covid-19 has really shone a light on the importance of employee wellbeing and how vital is it to business performance.
“It’s shifted from a ‘nice to have’ to an essential part of operating in the ‘new normal’. It’s now essential that organisations take a more proactive, human-centric and holistic approach to employee wellbeing that considers all contributors to engagement, wellness and satisfaction,” Reid added.