The Time Out Project
Most staff working in acute clinical specialities will have experienced a difficult or traumatic event at work. For the past two years, a small team on PICU have been developing a way of providing peer support to staff after such events, called “Time Out.”
The model has been developed with the support of a psychologist and is evidence based. It is designed to be delivered by experienced clinical staff, who have had some basic training on the principles of health and well-being, resilience, burnout and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. An important principle of the model is that it can be delivered in the workplace by members of the clinical team, achievable within the current workload pressures (the average Time Out lasts under 25 minutes) and be cost neutral.
The aims of the Time Out meetings are to provide an opportunity for staff to share their experiences in a safe and supportive environment. We also aim:
• To identify good practice
• To identify lessons learned
• To identify any actions that need to be taken and by whom
• To promote peer support networks
• To signpost staff to other sources of support if needed
Time Out has evaluated well – nearly all staff attending found the meetings relevant and useful, and 100% would recommend it to a colleague.
So, what does the future hold for Time Out? Other teams are interested in using the model, and we plan to offer training to support this. And qualitative research is underway to evaluate the impact upon the staff who have already participated in Time Out sessions.