87% commenced working with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) as a key partner in research funding provided by the Aviva Foundation to support frontline workers. The President of the College, Dr Katherine Henderson, had designated physician wellbeing as a strategic priority for the duration of her term.
87% began to develop a bespoke RCEM platform, specific to the needs of College Members and Fellows. As the COVID-19 crisis moved towards the UK, this was expedited to ensure that the College could provide targeted mental wellbeing support to the people that would be hit hardest during a global pandemic.
87% worked with RCEM Wellbeing Lead Dr Sunil Dasan, College leadership and the Sustainable Working Practices Committee (SWPC), to build a platform that would help ready the workforce for a challenge they had never faced. We worked tirelessly to ensure the platform could evolve across a year of difficulty for the physicians in A& E departments across the nation.
After launch to the then 9,679 members of the College, the RCEM Wellbeing app was extended to other professionals who work in emergency departments, not just physicians.
Early analysis of insights revealed that three areas stood out as requiring attention from leadership: Managing emotions, Work autonomy and Work-life balance. People reported feeling uncomfortable, expressing ‘negative’ emotions, such as anger, fear and unhappiness and recognised this as an area where they needed support. The app’s resilience programme to support this area was the most visited and wellbeing scores began to rise (indicating improved mental health) as a result of this intervention. Scores across staff members rose by as much as 20% in a three month period.
RCEM was also able to identify issues in specific demographics, such as low wellbeing scores (indicating poor mental health) in Work Autonomy for women aged 18-25 – along with Work Relationships in this age range – and in Work-Life Balance for women aged 26-45. RCEM implemented a number of special webinars and virtual events, in partnership with NHS Practitioner Health, to address these.
This project has changed the way RCEM supports the mental health and wellbeing of its members. As Dr Dasan says, “87% is a fantastic platform that can provide advice and guidance, which can be tailored over time, and its agility allows us to track staff’s mental wellbeing, see themes emerging and give them the support they need when they need it.”
More information can be found on 87%’s work at: www.87percent.co.uk.