HealthTrust Europe launches the Digital Hybrid Mail Solutions Framework

HealthTrust Europe are pleased to announce the launch of its latest Framework, supporting clients with the delivery of cost effective and straightforward solutions for their mail requirements. The latest Framework offers a simple and compliant route to market for the procurement of a range of mail services at competitive market rates – ensuring our customers always get the best value for money.
Not only does our latest framework ensure a strong return on investment, but it also connects our customers to market-leading suppliers. Our suppliers are able to offer a range of innovative strategies as well as the latest technologies, providing customers with a wide range of benefits.

Most importantly, our Digital Hybrid Mail Solutions offer services that enable customers to reduce their carbon usage. The framework agreement focuses on innovation and technological solutions – incorporating email mailings and reminders, SMS texting and wider use of E-communication as well as multi-format publishing. The Digital Hybrid Mail Solutions therefore helps organisations achieve their carbon reduction targets, and it complies with the NHS carbon reduction strategy.

Other services that are offered under the Digital Hybrid Mail Solutions framework include the management of returned mail; mailing, postage tracking and tracing services; the transformation of digital data into physical mail pieces at distributed print and mailing centres; as well as bulk email services amongst much more.

The framework is also designed to allow customers to tailor their own solutions package and design a bespoke product offering to fit their organisation’s needs. Solutions within the framework are able to be purchased separately, so that customers are never paying for a service they do not use. Once signed up to the framework agreement, customers will also be able to regularly order items and services they utilise most often at a set fixed price, meaning there are no cost increases during the agreement period.

As with all HealthTrust Europe frameworks, customers will benefit from having access to our expert team who can guide you through the framework process from start to finish. Customers will also have access to the expert suppliers as part of the framework, who have unmatched experience in supplying goods and services across the full spectrum of the public sector. Our trusted suppliers can offer their guidance and expertise on how specifications and processes can be standardised and rationalised to achieve even further cost and efficiency savings.

If your organisation is interested in accessing our new Digital Hybrid Mail Solutions framework to support you with meeting your mailing needs, you can get in touch with our dedicated customer care team to find out more by emailing or calling on 0845 887 5000. Our expert team is on-hand to deal with any customer queries.

HealthTrust Europe Launches Latest Framework to Support National and International Permanent Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals

HealthTrust Europe has launched the first two lots of Total Workforce Solutions 2 (TWS II) to support health and social care organisations in their approach to sustainable long-term national and international recruitment of doctors, nurses and wider healthcare professionals. The National and International Permanent Recruitment (NIPR) Agreements have been designed to help target key national policy objectives including reducing agency spend, supporting the NHS People Plan and the placement of 50,000 nurse roles into the NHS.

Over the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an undeniable impact on the health and social care sector, which is now also facing an uncertain future for its workforce in light of Brexit and the UK’s new immigration rules. The NIPR Agreements can help to improve the quality of patient care and health outcomes by addressing shortages in healthcare professionals, providing innovative contract solutions and ensuring a strong return on investment for providers. Lot 1b of the Agreement is an Approved Framework of NHSE&I for International Recruitment, HealthTrust Europe is working closely with the health regulator to establish effective sourcing strategies to support workforce programmes.

Safeguarding National and International Recruitment

Given the threat of a second wave of coronavirus and the uncertainties posed to the health and social care sector by the end to the transition period for Brexit, it is essential to build robust workforce supply chains and develop contingency plans to mitigate any negative effects to healthcare outcomes in the UK.

The new Framework has been developed to ensure that all recruitment efforts are bolstered, including national recruitment to support Bank, Fixed Term and Substantive Campaigns, and international recruitment of Healthcare Professionals from EEA/non-EEA. Staff Groups covered in the Framework are not just limited to Nurses, but also include key workers such as Doctors, GPs, Healthcare Assistants, AHP and HSS workers.

As the UK continues to open back up, there is likely to be a backlog of quality candidates that had applications held up during the pandemic. HealthTrust Europe can help to get contracts in place quickly and efficiently to support provider efforts in order to build a pipeline that helps to get people back to work. The NIPR Agreements will also allow for the development of streamlined local and regional approaches to workforces planning, delivering optimal outcomes for health systems across the UK through PCN, STP and ICS engagement.

Benefits of the NIPR Agreements

At HealthTrust Europe, we pride ourselves on delivering an exceptional service with high quality, tailored solutions for all of our customers and suppliers. We can support partners in appraising options and getting robust contracts in place with the knowledge and expertise to maximise quick wins whilst ensuring value for money long term.

Our new NIPR Agreements can help to deliver a range of benefits for our customers looking to safeguard their workforces, including:

  • Protection with ethical sourcing, rebates and restrictive covenants
  • Assurance with robust technical capability vetting through the Tender
  • Access to a range of high volume, niche and specialist suppliers for all needs
  • Robust contract terms, templates and KPIs to performance manage
  • Traditional campaign options from established source countries such as the Philippines, India, UAE and Ireland, as well as emerging sources
  • Opportunities to innovate with collaborative options, recruit to Bank, RPO and workforce consultancy as newer options within scope
  • Partnership to develop a coherent procurement plan that delivers the workforce strategy for the substantive, bank and agency workforce needs of each organisation.

Who can use Total Workforce Solutions II and the NIPR Agreements?

The Framework is free to access for all public sector organisations across all regions of the United Kingdom. HealthTrust Europe is a national provider committed to supporting providers to achieve successful outcomes in the procurement of workforce.

For further information on the NIPR Agreements, or for those interested in learning more about engaging with NHSE&I, please get in touch via phone on 0845 887 5000 or via email on

HealthTrust Europe unveils innovative new Elite360 platform

HealthTrust Europe today launches the innovative Elite360 platform – a high-tech, reactive and fully comprehensive service to support organisations with all their procurement needs.

The Elite360 platform is a singular space that enables customers to compare and search for all of the products and services HealthTrust Europe has to offer, guaranteeing our customers quality, safety, service and price from leading suppliers on the market. The platform uses pioneering technology to offer an unparalleled customer experience – its easy to use ‘catalogue’ style is supported by a sleek, high-quality system, making procurement simpler and more efficient than ever.

Elite360, powered by catalog360, allows existing HealthTrust Europe customers access to our expansive range of products, frameworks and services at the click of a button. The platform allows customers to compare products based on price and quality, and you can choose to switch contracts or frameworks if you find a better deal – whether it’s a cheaper service, or a better quality product for your organisation.

The platform also has all of your existing contracts, products, frameworks and service agreements securely stored, so that you can easily access your current contracts in one place. Whether you want to compare your existing contracts to new ones, or simply refer back to them in your day to day work, your information is stored in one easy to access, secure area.

The platform is free to access for our existing customers, and it can be easily accessed here. Elite360 is a cloud-based solution that could be used for any business procurement function. To discuss your needs and to utilise this state of the art system in your business please contact to discuss your system requirements.

As with all our services, we are on hand to help you make the switch to a new contract or framework if you choose to do so; our dedicated customer care team is able to guide you through the process and answer any queries you may have along the way.

HealthTrust Europe remain committed to always providing the best service to our customers – ensuring our customers get complete value for money and guaranteeing their patients always receive the highest quality of care possible. We value innovation, and we strive to re-imagine procurement to ensure our customers are on the cutting-edge of the latest healthcare solutions.

If you are interested in finding out more about the new Elite360 platform, please contact our dedicated customer care team via phone 0845 887 5000 or email

HealthTrust Europe Launches Covid-19 Framework – Supporting Organisations During the Pandemic

HealthTrust Europe has launched a new framework to support organisations in their approach to Coronavirus. The latest Covid-19 Testing Equipment, Consumables and Associated Services Framework allows customers access to two distinct Lots within the Covid-19 testing market to help support their organisations throughout the pandemic. The Framework provides access to the highest-quality products on the market, ensuring maximum safety levels.

Lot 1 – Covid-19 Point of Care Testing Equipment and Associated Consumables

Lot 1 allows customers to access market-leading resources to support during the pandemic. Customers have access to a range of testing methods, including rapid diagnostic testing and device-based. Customers will also be able to access consumables products, including test strips and cassettes that can aid organisations with simple, accessible but secure Covid-19 testing. These tests are classified as point of care or near-patient tests.

Lot 2 – Covid-19 Laboratory Testing Equipment, Consumables and Associated Services

Lot 2 covers all equipment, consumables and services which are required for any type of Covid-19 testing within a laboratory setting. This Lot is fully comprehensive and also allows customers access to market-leading suppliers’ equipment, reagents, test kits and associated services in the Covid-19 testing market.

What are the benefits of using a Framework for Covid-19 testing?

The latest framework provides a streamlined solution for all Covid-19 testing needs. The framework agreement is fully compliant with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and EU procurement directives – saving organisations time as they do not have to carry out their own EU compliant tender. The Framework also offers fixed pricing for the duration of the contract, as well as having a no limit policy in place, meaning organisations have unlimited access to the products available via the framework.

Given the nature of Covid-19 and the need for organisations to be receptive and fast-acting, the Framework also includes free next day delivery (on any business day) from the majority of suppliers – allowing organisations rapid access to vital resources.
Finally, HealthTrust Europe’s dedicated customer care team are on hand to support with any issues or queries throughout your contract length, meaning customers can rest assured knowing help is always available. The Covid-19 team is on hand to support you, with a dedicated helpline and department email address so you can access help whenever you need it.

Who can use the Framework?

This Framework has been designed for NHS bodies; Health Boards; NHS Trusts; Community Health Councils; NHS Scotland; Health and Social Care Trusts; Health Agencies and Constituent bodies of NHS Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If your organisation isn’t included on this list, please get in touch via phone on 0845 887 5000 or via email on

If you are interested in learning more about the Covid-19 Framework, and want to find out how HealthTrust Europe could support your organisation during the pandemic, get in touch via the details listed above to speak to our dedicated customer care team.

HealthTrust Europe launches two new Frameworks to support during Coronavirus and beyond

HealthTrust Europe this week launches two new Frameworks that will help support organisations in their approach to the Coronavirus, as well as into the future. Both new Frameworks allow providers to ensure the utmost safety and cleanliness during the outbreak, maximising the safety of staff and patients. Beyond Coronavirus, the Frameworks aim to promote best practice in Linen & Laundry services and Waste Management in a range of settings, with the ambition of boosting sustainable practices (for example, by reducing carbon in transportation and delivering recycling/reuse opportunities).

Linen & Laundry Services

HealthTrust Europe’s Linen & Laundry (L&L) Framework offers a fully comprehensive, cost-effective and quality controlled linen and laundry service that includes processing (wash and finish), transportation (collection and return) and linen hire. The L&L Framework also covers the hire of essential textiles, including CE marked, reusable barrier Theatre textiles – ensuring healthcare organisations have adequate stock levels of the essential items and guaranteeing all items are fit for purpose as well as the benefits of a fully managed service.

The Framework has been developed for a number of reasons. It provides organisations and providers with market-leading suppliers in the L&L field, offers an express service for quick item turnarounds when needed and customers will also have access to a supply of emergency items upon request. Introducing a comprehensive L&L Framework is also hugely beneficial in terms of encouraging sustainable practices; efficient delivery organisation and transportation management significantly reduces carbon emissions by minimising deliveries of stock, and expert cleaning services and handling of items can extend the lifetime of an item – helping promote recycling and reuse opportunities.

The L&L Framework is launching during the most unprecedented public health crisis for a generation. The Coronavirus has changed the way we look at sharing and exchanging items, and all organisations must be vigilant and rigorous in their day-to-day practice to ensure the safety of patients and their staff. The L&L Framework enables organisations to put in place stringent best practice linen management principles, whilst providing training and information for frontline staff to help tackle and eliminate transmission or contamination of materials.

Total Waste Management

The Total Waste Management Framework covers 5 distinct categories: domestic waste services, clinical waste services, reusable sharps waste services, confidential waste services and total waste management services. Each Lot contains the provision to safely remove, treat, dispose of, and handle specific types of waste across healthcare settings and beyond, enabling safe and effective waste management practices.
The Total Waste Management Framework allows access to market-leading suppliers in waste management, enabling organisations to benefit from expert handling whilst remaining entirely cost-effective and policy compliant. The Framework also supports sustainable principles, helping organisations to reduce their landfill contribution percentages and providing alternatives to waste removal that are more environmentally friendly.

The launch of the Total Waste Management Framework is particularly relevant in the current climate, as the Framework offers comprehensive service provision in waste disposal, maximising the protection of public health. In light of the current Coronavirus pandemic, this has never been so important. Organisations must be even more vigilant in waste disposal to ensure the safety of their staff and the general public throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, and this comprehensive Framework can support organisations in minimising contamination and transmission, contributing to the overall strategy and approach to tackling the virus.

Accessing the Frameworks

If you or your organisation are interested in finding out more about the launch of our two new Frameworks, please get in contact with our dedicated customer care teams on 0845 887 5000 or email at Our team is on-hand to deal with any customer queries at this difficult time, and we are committed to supporting our customers and partners with solutions to protect staff and patients during these unprecedented times.

HealthTrust Europe unveils new Document Storage, Scanning and Related Services Framework

HealthTrust Europe is delighted to release its latest Framework today (Thursday 18th June), adding to its extensive healthcare services offering. The new Document Storage, Scanning and Related Services Framework has been designed to offer a simple and compliant route to market for the procurement of a range of documents and records management services.

As with all of our Frameworks, this latest addition is free to access and offers great flexibility. The framework is divided into 3 distinct Lots to fit to the individual needs of our clients.

Lot 1 – Total Document Storage, Scanning and Digitalisation Solutions

Lot 1 offers a full range of services covering storage, scanning and digitalisation solutions. This Lot also includes Electronic Document Management Systems (EDRMS) software, specifically designed to store and organise large volumes of digital documents. This is particularly essential in the healthcare sector, where patient records must be stored effectively and efficiently in order to be able to access them quickly but also ensure their absolute protection to maximise patient confidentiality.

Cloud solutions are also listed in Lot 1. Cloud storage is fast becoming the most efficient tool for data storage, as it is exceptionally secure, cost-efficient and simple to use, making it accessible for all users. Cloud storage is continuously evolving to be more versatile and effective, and it is fast becoming the ideal tool for data storage in the healthcare sector.

Lot 1 also contains provisions for digital transformation consultation, secure destruction of electronic records alongside other essential document storage and scanning platforms.

Lot 2 – Document Storage, Retrieval and Destruction Services

Lot 2 offers effective document storage, retrieval, and destruction services. Under this Lot, the focus is on document retrieval – a service that is fundamental for accessing specific text records against user queries. Document retrieval systems use a database of documents, a classification algorithm to build a full text index, and a user interface to access the database. For example, classic internet search engines use document retrieval software. In healthcare settings, a distinct database of information can be created, such as for a particular medical condition, and can easily filter user searches using its distinct algorithm.

Document retrieval is an effective tool that allows quick and reliable access to your expansive document library. Document retrieval is a complex system that can be put in place by our trusted, market-leading suppliers to make data accessibility a simple yet extremely effective process.

Lot 3 – Document Scanning, EDRMS, Digitalisation and Related Services

Lot 3 contains many of the provisions from Lots 1 and 2, including Cloud storage and EDRMS. However, it also contains document scanning – a service that is fundamental for the healthcare sector.

Traditionally, patient records, medical data and other such documents have been kept in paper form. This is the case in many healthcare settings, however paper documents can be more easily lost, altered or damaged. Physical documents can also build up and take up physical storage space. With document scanning software, paper documents can be converted into digital images. These digital images can be stored online, where they are secure, better organised and easy to access. This will help support towards the NHS Long Term Plan to move away from physical documents to digitalisation.

Why adopt this Framework?

The latest Framework provides extensive yet simple document storage, scanning and other related services. Our Framework opens up access to market-leading suppliers in the field, offering a package of services that can be tailored to your organisation’s needs.

The Framework is fully compliant in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations and therefore offers the best route to market for accessing related resources. HealthTrust Europe are also on-hand to support throughout the duration of the contract – meaning our customers have access to a dedicated team of experts who ensure an effective and efficient transition toward adopting new software.

To learn more about our latest Framework and how we can support your documentation needs, contact our dedicated customer care team who can assist you with any queries.

To download the framework brief click here.

Focusing Innovations to Meet Customer Needs During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

To ensure organisations are able to safely employ workers during this unprecedented time, we have enhanced our Total Workforce Solutions Framework to fit with social distancing measures, introducing features such as tele-consultation and surge staffing in addition to developing non-clinical solutions with our supplier community.

Enhancing Access to Non-Clinical Staffing including Cleaning Services

Since the NHS England and NHS Improvement’s (NHSE&I) announcement to temporarily relax the agency rules around sourcing non-clinical agency staff, HealthTrust Europe has seen an increased demand in staff supply services for logistics, facilitates/estates, security and hotel services including cleaning under Lot 4 of the Total Workforce Solutions (TWS) Framework.

Coronavirus has had a significant impact on staffing capacity across the health and care sector, and there has been a particular demand for agency staff to fill positions across the Social Care Sector and to fill other essential worker roles such as delivery drivers and warehouse packagers.

Given the inability to recruit staff using traditional methods, HealthTrust Europe has worked with NHSE&I to amend compliance requirements to respond to social distancing and lockdown measures and ensure that essential worker positions can be filled during this time. We have extensively engaged our supplier community to create a range of options for temporary, fixed term and permanent recruitment to meet our customers’ individual needs across non-clinical staffing. We are pleased to have set up a rapid response option to customers wishing to raise urgent requirements via to support with sourcing the right resource.

Introducing Tele-Consultation under Total Workforce Solutions

A further innovation under the framework is the introduction of Tele-Consultations across the agency lots for remote/video access to healthcare professionals. With social distancing measures still being enforced across the UK and a wide range of healthcare professionals self-isolating, HealthTrust Europe recognised the need to allow recruitment to take place remotely using secure hosted technology platforms. Using such technology has allowed organisations to access staff such as Consultant Doctors and Advanced Nurse Practitioners remotely, using video conferencing technologies to support virtual wards and to offer virtual consultations and elective sessional work to be undertaken within the constraints of the lockdown. The Tele-Consultation option compliments existing recruitment pathways, ensuring high calibre applicants are sourced whilst maximising quality, safety, service and price through the framework terms and conditions.

By using such technology, both staff and patients are able to maintain social distancing, greatly reducing the risk of infection for both parties and allowing providers to begin to plan the return of elective care and managing waiting lists pro-actively. Our supplier community is working hard to support providers to implement, adapt and train on the new platforms to ensure all staff are able to use the remote technologies effectively.

Accessing a wider supply chain through Surge Staffing Options

Finally, the introduction of ‘Surge Staffing’ and ‘Rapid Response’ initiatives has provided a further new option under Total Workforce Solutions. Working with our supplier community, we are introducing faster, lighter touch access to technology solutions that enable rapid expansion of access to on and off framework suppliers to meet bank demand, agency requirements and to support cost controls. The solutions offer an efficient and effective mechanism to ramp up supply capability quickly in one or multiple staff groups, aligned to framework standard, that can be implemented for short, medium or long-term requirements to support with the provision of patient care during the Coronavirus outbreak or in planning the return of elective care.

HealthTrust Europe continues to work with our provider partners and supplier community to ensure our agreements meet and exceed demands during this unprecedented time. The new features of the Total Workforce Solutions Framework are available for access immediately, on a free to access basis across the United Kingdom.

If you need guidance, advice and/or solutions to meet your workforce needs, start a conversation by contacting us on Our dedicated customer team is on-hand to deal with any customer queries regarding staffing and recruitment. We are committed to doing everything that we can to support our partners with solutions to deliver the right resource, at the right time, for the right cost.

Celebrating Nurses and Healthcare Workers Around the World

International Nurses Day 2020

Tuesday 12th May is International Nurse’s Day – an annual celebration of the crucial work and role of nurses around the world, which also marks the anniversary of the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

This year’s celebrations are incredibly important because 2020 has been designated the year of the nurse and midwife to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

The public is being asked to “shine a light” from their window at 8.30pm today to recognise the role of the nurses in the coronavirus fight and demonstrate our gratitude, so please join in if you are able too!

Supporting employers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

On 25th March 2020, the Coronavirus Act 2020 made it into the statute books. The Act will enforce the UK’s response to the current challenges the economy is experiencing.

It covers 5 key areas:

  • Emergency staffing to increase the health and social care workforce;
  • Technology and equipment aimed at easing the burden on frontline staff;
  • Containing and slowing the virus (through powers to limit or suspend unnecessary social contacts and disperse gatherings);
  • Managing the deceased with respect and dignity;
  • Supporting people, generally.

What are your responsibilities as an employer?
With working from home being recommended by the Government to assist with social distancing and protecting our frontline services, technology is essential. From hardware, to mobile phones, networking and software, to keeping communications open and keeping organisations working as effectively as possible during this time. With this, comes other responsibilities ensuring employees have a safe working environment and are supported in times of isolation.

For those employees who are attending work, employers should remind them of the need to regularly wash their hands for 20 seconds and frequently disinfect any objects or surfaces that are used regularly.

What should I pay staff who are not key workers and are unable to work from home?
The Government is providing support to employers affected by these circumstances through its furlough scheme. Employers who apply for the scheme will be reimbursed for employees who are not required to work during this time. To be eligible for the furlough scheme employees must have been registered on a PAYE payroll system on or before 28th February 2020. To continue to be eligible for the scheme, employees cannot undertake work for, or on behalf of their employer or an associated or affiliated employer. The Government will cover 80% of their pay up to £2,500 a month. This is a temporary scheme for three (3) months starting from 1st March 2020, but may be extended if necessary. Employers can use the scheme at any time during this period.

What about sick pay?
Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result of the coronavirus will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves showing signs of the viral infection. Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate. Medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness and employers are being asked to apply their discretion for evidence of any sickness lasting longer than 7 days especially if related to the employee or if they are living with someone who is self-isolating.

Do you have concerns on Data Protection as more employees are working from home?
Data protection is not a barrier when it comes to working from home. The law does not prevent staff working from home, whether using their own equipment or equipment supplied by their employer. There is however an increased risk of data breaches. There are ways to mitigate data breaches such as encrypting or pseudonymising data before it is transferred.

In the current situation, having skeleton staff working do you need support with contractual issues, supply chain issues, HR issues, event cancellations, insurance claims?
Our supplier partners can offer rapid response to urgent needs, de-risking and securing supply chains, support in business as usual contracting whilst your substantive team focus on the urgent situation, as well as reviewing contracts to ensure any risk is minimised.

When the worst happens, which unfortunately is occurring more than any of us would like, NHS trusts need to ensure they have a sufficient working relationship with their local senior coroner.
To ensure that Trusts are working in line with the latest guidance from NHSE and NHSI to maximise staff availability, our legal suppliers are able to offer support to Trusts who have concerns regarding how their coroner is operating. The legal suppliers are also able to support individual clinicians concerned with pressures being put on them by in-house legal teams of their local coroners.

All of our Legal Suppliers offer free legal advice which can be taken up on any new cases. Many of our Consultancy Solutions and Advisory Services suppliers are also offering free advice and solutions to assist you in managing contracts, as well as offering support in procurement and supply chain issues, and supporting your employees who may need moral support while they are either in isolation or working from home.

If you need rapid advice and solutions on any of the points raised above, we encourage stakeholders to contact us on We also facilitate fast track on-boarding as well as a range of other solutions. We will continue to do everything that we can to support our partners with solutions to deliver the best patient care and value in these challenging times.

Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of our colleagues

Mindfulness and Wellbeing

Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of our colleagues is vitally important to us as an organisation and even more so during this Coronavirus pandemic.

Everyone has different ways of dealing with everyday life but when life changes drastically, your mechanisms for managing these changes also need to adapt. Whether you are social distancing or self-isolating, you may be feeling more anxious and stressed during this time, which is completely understandable.

At HealthTrust Europe, we have moved from an open plan office to remote working in order to keep our colleagues and the communities we serve safe. This has meant the community environment, in which colleagues were able to communicate freely in person, have regular face-to-face conversations, discuss ideas with their colleagues, take lunch breaks from the office to exercise or buy lunch or essentials from the local supermarket and undertake on and offsite meetings with suppliers and customers has now shifted. Colleagues are instead having to use rooms in their homes as offices and discussions all taking place via phone calls and video conferences.

In addition to this, many colleagues may be unable to see family and friends other than through video calls, may be living alone, with children or self-isolating and unable to pop to the shop to break up their day or take in some form of exercise outside the home. All of this change at once can have a significant impact, as such elevating our support of colleagues and their families is of vital importance to us. To assist our colleagues with this transition and continually support them during this time of crisis, we’re maintaining a realistic level of “business as usual” activity to provide stability and a sense of routine which helps with an individual’s mental health, whilst also introducing new ways of working to adjust to the current times we are in.

We are aware that colleagues with children or other dependents at home with them are likely to be dealing with home-schooling or caring activities alongside their day-to-day work. This can put extra strain on colleagues to manage their work/life balance when there is no physical separation from the two except maybe a door to another room. We are supporting and encouraging colleagues to make adjustments to their daily routine, which enable them to take care of themselves, their children, dependents and continue to undertake their roles; we also understand that from time to time children or other family members may appear in the video call.

It can be easy to forget to take a break from work and the computer screen during the working day when remote working, so in collaboration with all colleagues we are undertaking the following measures:

  • Inviting colleagues to take part in a social chat twice a day, to help them refocus and re-energise, or even just to move from where they are to take that essential drink or break.
  • Sharing amusing content on Team chats to brighten up the days.
  • Colleagues are invited to take part in regular mindfulness activities hosted by our Health and Wellbeing CSR Group, such as guided meditation sessions and seated yoga sessions.
  • In normal circumstances we would hold a company-wide quiz at the end of each month, hosted by different colleagues on topics ranging from general knowledge to music and sport. It created team working and healthy competition between colleagues and generated great camaraderie and a sense of inclusion. We didn’t want social distancing to stop this, so have begun to use our remote working capability and resources to hold a virtual quiz every Friday afternoon, to ensure that colleagues end the week on a positive note.
  • We continue to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society, our chosen charity for the year. There will be many people with friends and family members that are affected by Alzheimer’s; those who are currently caring for Alzheimer’s patients at home are under increased pressure to support them. Others may not be able to visit loved ones in nursing homes who are receiving specialist care. We have been finalising our plan for virtual fundraising to ensure this great charity continues to get the support it needs and will share this with colleagues in due course.
  • We also have 21 trained mental health first aiders who are on hand to signpost colleagues to relevant services and check in with colleagues to provide an outlet for them; our company intranet site includes additional resources to support good mental health and wellbeing.

We would like to thank everyone for their hard work, and we will continue to take care and support our colleagues as well as supporting healthcare providers with delivering vital healthcare to patients.