Stressed nurse
Government and politics, Mental health, Work and occupational

Hear from the hubs: Ros's story

A senior nurse shares her experience of receiving support from her local NHS staff mental health and wellbeing hub.

28 March 2023

Ros* is a senior nurse and self-referred to her local NHS staff mental health and wellbeing hub after experiencing a sudden parental bereavement due to Covid-19, and struggling with her mental health. After a period of sick leave, Ros was supported by the hub to return to work in early 2022. Ros spoke to us to share her story. 

How the hub helped me

If you spoke to Fran* [the advanced psychological practitioner at the hub who worked with Ros], she would say I was the worst person in the world for looking after me.

With the hub's help, I've come a very long way, and I don't think I'd have managed to without their advice and support.

Just being able to talk to somebody outside of your family and outside of what was going on just made such a difference, I felt like nobody was judging me.

I deal with things better now, and I use the coping mechanisms, advice and toolkit I was given by the hub - what to do in particular situations and when to take a step away, all the things I would never have done before.

Losing the hubs

I think it will be devastating to lose the hubs. I say that from my own personal experience and from that of people I know, who've found it so, so useful and really beneficial. It has maintained people in their roles at work, whereas otherwise we'd have had people going off sick and being off sick for a lengthy time.

Things like counselling and support was very scant prior to us being able to access the hub. Help was very time limited, or it was going through GP practices, so you end up back in the mainstream system.

With the hub, there was just this understanding of what was needed – for example, they didn't close my referral down when we agreed together it wasn't the right time to have therapeutic conversations, which meant the door was always open for me. That was what I needed to hear.

The NHS wasn't in a great place prior to the pandemic and it's certainly not in a good place now, so to have that additional support for people removed would be devastating.

I think there will be more and more people either leaving the organisation or taking more time off sick. None of us want to be off sick, but sometimes unfortunately it's the only answer because you can't physically and mentally carry on.

Patient care

I do think if you're not in the best place yourself, physically or emotionally then it does affect the delivery of patient care, most definitely.

People are going to work and they're exhausted, they're being less effective and you know you're not giving the best you can give.

As a nurse its soul destroying that through no fault of your own, you're not able to deliver care that you know you should be delivering because of all the pressures of the system. It's like a conveyor belt.

There's very little care and compassion at the moment because people are absolutely worn out. It's really sad, the position we've got to.

* Names have been changed to protect identities

About the campaign 

Government funding for the NHS Staff and Wellbeing Hubs is due to end on 31 March 2023,

The BPS and ACP-UK are together campaigning for the government to provide a minimum of one year's transitional ring-fenced funding so that hubs can continue to provide a vital lifeline for NHS and social care staff, and identify alternative funding options to secure their future.

Read about the campaign in the Independent and The Mirror

Hear from the hub leads