This study will carry out research into how frontline NHS nurses in West Yorkshire can be better supported to strengthen and maintain their resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Burdett Trust for Nursing has awarded Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust a grant of more than £82,000 to investigate how healthcare professionals can implement strategies to help colleagues working in highly stressful clinical environments, such as critical care, cope with the traumatic situations they face.

The 12-month study will be led by the Trust’s Assistant Chief Nurse for Quality and Safety Research, Angela Grange, and will evaluate a tailored coaching programme for 80 nurses called Reboot (which stands for ‘Recovery Boosting Training’) to help prepare critical care nurses for, and aid recovery after, stressful clinical events at work.

Reboot has already been tested as a face-to face, psychological intervention with other staff groups but this new research will see if it can be translated into an online format for critical care nurses given the challenges of delivering programmes like this during the pandemic.

The nurses will take part in small, remote group workshops and there will be follow-up coaching calls led by a psychological therapist. During the workshops, they will have an opportunity to learn practical, cognitive-behavioural strategies and receive information to help strengthen their coping mechanisms when dealing with stressful events at work.  The nurses will be asked to practice these techniques at home after each session to explore which approach works best for them.

Eighty nurses, who are all working within the NHS will participate in the programme. Each nurse will also receive two follow-up, one-to-one coaching calls from the therapist as part of the programme.

It is hoped that the Reboot coaching programme will enhance critical care nurses’ confidence in coping with adverse events, boost their knowledge about resilience techniques and coping strategies, as well as their perceived resilience.

The highly stressful nature of nurses’ work in critical care has intensified during the pandemic and our research aims to support our nursing workforce to the best of our ability to cope better with potential and actual stressful situations at work, and to support their recovery afterwards.

The programme was developed in 2018 by Dr Grange’s co-investigators, Occupational Health Psychologist Dr Ruth Simms-Ellis, from the Trust, and Clinical Psychologist Dr Judith Johnson, from the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds.

The team is part of the Yorkshire Quality and Safety Research Group which is based at the Bradford Institute for Health Research, situated in the grounds of Bradford Royal Infirmary. Dr Reema Harrison, Associate Professor, from the Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, is also an expert advisor to the researchers.

Please click here to listen to Dr Angela Grange’s interview with BCB – Bradford Radio; where she discusses this new research study into how frontline West Yorkshire NHS nurses can strengthen resilience following the pandemic.

To learn more about the study, please click here to watch a short video with Dr Angela Grange and Dr Ruth Simms-Ellis.

If you are a critical care nurse working in the NHS and are interested in joining the programme, please click here for more information.