Wellness Warriors support almost 5,000 staff through COVID-19

People and culture team are visiting all areas of the LHD in purple vests providing support to staff that may be feeling overwhelmed by COVID-19 and changes to the workplace

Westmead Hospital’s emergency department staff have praised Western Sydney Local Health District’s (WSLHD) People and Culture team for supporting 4803 staff through the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Workplace Wellness team was established to provide wellness sessions, face to face and virtual coaching, ward visits and drop in centres for staff and manages across the organisation.

Emergency department deputy director Dr Kavita Varshney said the wellness sessions are having an extremely positive impact.

“At the beginning of COVID-19 the emergency department was the frontline for Westmead Hospital,” Kavita said.

“There was so much uncertainty and worry among staff about contracting the virus and if we would bring it home to our families.

“The wellness support sessions gave us a safe space to talk about our concerns, and get practical, realistic advice on how to manage these feelings.”

Westmead Hospital Emergency department deputy director Dr Kavita Varshney and Clinical Nurse Educator Emma Dixon.

The Workplace Wellness team is predominantly made up of organisational development and learning staff, in collaboration with human resource business partners and other staff groups throughout the District.

Clinical nurse educator Emma Dixon said she has been to many of these wellness support sessions and encourages anyone who is feeling uncertain or anxious to attend.

“It was a unique experience to sit there and realise I am not the only one who felt overwhelmed or anxious,” Emma said.

“It made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that there were people out there who were willing to help.

“The People and Culture team are very passionate about supporting staff and that is clear through the implementation of these wellness sessions.

 “The team were very in touch with our reality – they could interact with us in a way that the staff could respond to and engage with.”

 The Wellness Support team offer group sessions, individual sessions and drop in centres across WSLHD.

Staff or managers wishing to learn more about how the Workplace Wellness team should visit the COVID-19 Intranet page under Staff Wellbeing. 

Enquiries can also be made by calling 9840 3637 or emailing WSLHD-OD&L@health.nsw.gov.au