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Mental health staff support local hospitals responding to the coronavirus pandemic

Hospitals in Teesside and County Durham and Darlington are welcoming the expertise of mental health colleagues in supporting front line staff responding to the current coronavirus pandemic.

  Since the beginning of April, psychologists from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), which operate mental health and learning disability services across County Durham and Darlington, Teesside and most of North Yorkshire, have been working into local hospitals to support staff wellbeing and help strengthen their resilience during this challenging period. 

Offering both telephone and face-to-face support, psychology staff are delivering a stepped model of care including mental health first aid, skills training and peer support to inpatient staff working at hospitals including James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, The University Hospital of North Durham and Darlington Memorial Hospital. Psychology support is also available to staff at The Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and Bishop Auckland Hospital. 

Sarah Hopper, professional lead for psychology at TEWV in Teesside said "NHS staff are responding to an unprecedented situation and are often working under challenging circumstances, which may include caring for those with COVID 19, adapting to changes in working practice or implementing service changes in response to the pandemic. 

"It has never been more important for the wider NHS community to come together and we are pleased we are able to offer our support to our acute colleagues, some of whom are under an increased level of pressure and stress at this difficult time. Having appropriate mental health support readily available to front-line staff means they can get the help they need to stay well and continue their excellent work in caring for others." 

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said, "The wellbeing of our amazing staff is a top priority for us and we have a wide-ranging programme of support in place to support them through this unprecedented situation. The expertise provided by our colleagues at TEWV is very much appreciated and is a great example of the NHS working together in using its many skills to tackle Covid-19.


Published 27th April 2020



'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham