East Lancashire A&E staff get special 'retreat room'

Staff in the new retreat room
Staff in the new retreat room

​Staff working in the Emergency Department at Royal Blackburn Hospital now have access to a ‘retreat room’ – a private space to reflect and gather their thoughts following challenging incidents they may experience within the department.

The room has been funded by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s charity, ELHT&Me. The Emergency Department sees approximately 500 patients per day, and staff treat people with a variety of medical conditions, dealing with all eventualities. These events can often occur within quick succession of each other.

“Over the years we have noticed that something is missing. Something to support staff whilst they move from one event to another, something or somewhere ‘time out’ can be had whilst we gather our thoughts to be able to carry on with the demands of the job.

“This is why we requested funding for the retreat room”, said Emergency Department Matron, Jackie Murray. “The aim was to create a quiet space, where staff could regain composure, gather their thoughts, and support each other after a difficult experience at work”, said Denise Gee, Fundraising Manager at ELHT&Me."

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Acting Chief Executive, Dr Damian Riley, added: “Staff well-being is a priority for us, and we know that staff in our Emergency Department sometimes experience traumatic situations and difficult circumstances.

“To provide safe, personal and effective care for our patients, staff need time and space to process what they’ve encountered at work, and the Retreat Room is the right place to do that.”

Working closely with Jane Butcher, ELHT’s Staff Guardian, Leanne Dwyer, the Assistant Matron of the Emergency Department, obtained commitment from approximately 30 staff in the Emergency Department to act as Staff Champions.

These staff are from a variety of roles and professions within the department - consultants, sisters, staff nurses, health care assistants and administrative staff, and are willing to act as a support to colleagues and discuss any issues in confidence, sit and listen, and support them.