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Membership Matters

Supporting staff to reduce the impact of trauma

A NEW initiative to support staff at risk of suffering from trauma due to their work has been approved and is set to launch next year.

Known as RAFT (Risk Assessment Following Trauma), it is aimed at assessing the psychological risk to individuals who have experienced trauma in the course of their work. The peer led process looks to identify, assist, support and, if necessary, signpost people for further help. It can be used whenever there is stress resulting from trauma, or a build-up of events.

Sandra Tucker-Quinn, Resuscitation and Clinical Skills Lead who is leading the launch of RAFT, explained: “Many staff in this Trust are asked to undertake a job that is often unpleasant, emotionally charged and even dangerous.

“Most people will not develop longer-term mental health problems but some inevitably will. Early identification of any potential mental health issues means that the help and support available for staff has a greater chance of being effective and returning people to full functioning at work. It is vital that staff should be able to recognise when colleagues are acting out of character, showing low mood or some other discernible change.”

Up to 16 RAFT practitioners will be trained, these will be peers who volunteer. For staff being supported by RAFT, the process begins as soon as the practitioner is notified, who will then offer individuals two sessions.

Sandra continued: “The first session is face to face, it is conversational but with the aim of determining the level of risk the person may be at. Those with higher levels of risk can receive the signposting that they might need immediately. It is not therapy, but a safe, confidential, completely supportive intervention in addition to the traditional ‘debrief’, where staff have the chance to re-charge batteries over a cup of tea in the staff room.”


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Visiting cancelled

Due to the increasing number of cases of coronavirus across the UK, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has made the decision to cancel all visiting to all its hospital sites in order to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

There are three exemptions to the ruling which are for one parent of a sick child under 18, for the partner of a woman giving birth and end of life patients at the discretion of the ward sister.

We would ask people to respect this decision and to treat our staff, who will be enforcing the visiting restrictions, with courtesy and respect.  For more information visit our website.

Outpatient appointments

We know that NHS services will come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and as a Trust we need to redirect staff, free up staff for refresher training and carry out any works as necessary, so we are able to maximise capacity for patients for when the number of infections peak.  We also need to reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals to protect our patients, as well as keeping our staff safe, well and able to come into work.

To do this, with effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020, along with other trusts in the Humber Coast and Vale partnerships, we have made the collective decision to suspend all non-urgent routine outpatient appointments for at least three months.  Urgent and emergency cases and cancer appointments will be carrying on as normal.

These are unprecedented times and we thank you for your understanding.  We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried but please not contact the hospital as we will be contacting everyone directly affected in the coming days and weeks.

If you do not receive a letter or a phone call from the hospital, please turn up for your scheduled appointment as normal unless you have symptoms of coronavirus, a cold, flu or norovirus in which case you should contact us to cancel your appointment by clicking here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.  After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.  Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.