State of the art sleep pods a reality for NHS staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals

NHS staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals are set to benefit from state of the art sleep pods to enable them to catch up on much-needed sleep after long shifts.

The sleep pods will give frontline clinical staff a peaceful and relaxing space to go to catch up on sleep before either returning to work or driving home safely.  

The pods, which were an idea suggested via a staff survey and championed by Lancashire Teaching Hospital Staff Governor, Anneen Carlisle, are part of wider rest and recuperation improvements aimed at supporting staff wellbeing, and have been made possible thanks to a £250,000 donation earlier this year from Lancashire-based family business James Hall & Company Limited.

James Hall & Company Limited, who operate as the primary wholesaler to SPAR retailers throughout the North of England, know only too well the importance of looking after workforce, particularly when faced with such unprecedented times. 

Andrew Hall, Managing Director of James Hall Company Ltd said:

“When the Covid pandemic hit earlier this year, and we saw the extraordinary lengths that NHS staff went to to keep us and their own families safe, we wanted to do something to help. It was apparent from speaking to the Trust’s Chief Executive Karen Partington that rest and recreation facilities were something we could help with and the donation we gave was our way of saying thank you to their many dedicated frontline staff.”

The company also decorated ten of its double decker SPAR trucks with the iconic NHS ‘rainbow of hope’ in support of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals and NHS staff across the country.

Paula Wilson, Head of Charities and Fundraising at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Here at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, we have over 8,500 members of staff, many of whom work in frontline and support services. I see on a daily basis the impact that Covid-19 has had on my colleagues, and they are understandably exhausted and anxious about the second wave. I know that they all want to be the very best they can be when dealing with patients, and so as they face this second peak, having had very little time to recuperate from the last one, I am delighted that we will be able to provide amazing facilities such as these – which wouldn’t look out of place in a Dubai airport lounge!

“Work on the sleep pods project will start in December at Royal Preston Hospital, whilst rest and recreation spaces are being scoped for Chorley & South Ribble Hospital which we hope to start as soon as we receive word that a further grant from NHS Charities Together has been successful. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone at James Hall & Co, whose continued support throughout the pandemic has been invaluable.”

As well as sleep pods, the project includes a kitchen, new female changing, including a breastfeeding room for nursing staff, toilets and shower facilities.  Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity is continuing its fundraising to support improvements to break rooms, provision of quiet spaces, and memorial gardens, where staff and visitors can go to remember those lost to Covid-19.

Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

 “We are extremely grateful to James Hall & Co for enabling us to make such wonderful improvements to benefit our staff through incredible donations. I am blown away by the efforts of our workforce in recent months, and this is just one way in which we can show our appreciation to them.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Charity took urgent measures to protect the wellbeing of the Trust’s workforce by setting up the NHS Heroes Hub with the support of local business and many generous volunteers, which meant, when supermarket shelves were low, staff had access to food, drinks and toiletries free of charge.

The charity team also sent out NHS Heroes care packs to front line staff, installed outdoor eating spaces and handed out 10,000 reusable water bottles to help their colleagues stay hydrated while on shift. All of this, including a wellbeing project aimed at offering extra health checks and vitamin D supplies for staff in at-risk groups, was made possible thanks to NHS Charities Together funding.