London Ambulance signs Blue Light wellbeing pledge for staff

4 February 2016

To mark Time to Talk Day (4 February), London Ambulance Service has signed the Blue Light Time to Change pledge, offering dedicated wellbeing support to its staff as they work round the clock to keep Londoners’ safe.pledge signing

The initiative marks the latest in a number of steps taken by the UK’s busiest ambulance service to shine a light on the support on offer for people with mental health concerns in the capital.

Jules Lockett, Practice Learning Manager at the Service said “We are committed to supporting not only the people of London in their time of need, but also our own employees by providing a dedicated resource to help our teams stay mentally well.

“We are leading the way in providing mental health support for our patients; now it’s time to look at how we can make a positive change for our own staff.”

The Service has already taken key steps to improve the specialist response available for patients who call 999 with mental health concerns and is the first in the country to have mental health nurses working directly from the control room alongside call handlers.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “Not only are many of our blue light personnel struggling with their mental health, but they’re less likely to seek support or have time off sick than the general workforce.

“Good mental health should be a priority in any workplace but it is especially important that people exposed to traumatic or life-threatening situations - such as those working within the police, ambulance, fire and search and rescue services – receive appropriate support.

“By signing the Blue Light Time to Change pledge, London Ambulance Service is helping to fight stigma and promote positive mental health in emergency services.”

Mind’s Blue Light Programme is dedicated to supporting police, search and rescue, fire and ambulance workforces in England by offering practical ways to stay mentally well.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

London Ambulance Service NHS Trust is the busiest emergency ambulance service in the UK that provides healthcare that is free to patients at the time they receive it.

We have over 4,500 staff, who work across a wide range of roles based in 70 ambulance stations. We serve more than seven million people who live and work in the London area.

For more information, media enquiries or interview requests please contact Christina Clynes, Communications Officer on  020 7783 2408 or christina.clynes@lond-amb.nhs.uk

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London Ambulance Service already offer a number of services to support staff to improve and maintain their wellbeing both at work and at home, including:

  • A LINC (Listening, Informal, Non-judgemental, Confidential) peer support network, available to all, which provides trained members of staff who listen to and support colleagues.
  • A staff counselling service
  • Wellbeing and stress management advice
  • Occupational health services