August 7, 2022

National Award for Hartlepool Hospital Staff Poetry Project


North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust employees launched the Creative Writing for Wellbeing workshops – which resulted in a book of poetry – to help reduce stress during the pandemic.

The project has now won the “Helping our workforce recover from the pandemic” category at this year’s Bright Ideas in Health Awards.

The workshops were the product of a collaboration between cancer and palliative care consultant nurse Mel McEvoy, palliative medicine consultant Dr Donna Wakefield and The Open University to determine if poetry could reduce stress and improve well-being. mental workers.

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Staff with copies of their published works.

The book – featuring the moving poetry of 19 trusted staff – deals with the challenges faced in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mel, a published poet himself, said: “This award was won collectively and the place of honor should go to all the hospital staff who entered the workshop and wrote about what to do. ‘he felt during COVID-19.

“The award recognizes the importance of the experiences of clinical staff. We are all members of someone else’s family before we are healthcare professionals.

He added: “What was captured in the writing was something that we share with patients – that we are also vulnerable in the face of challenges.”

Kim Duffy with the book of poetry

Room matron Kim Duffy is one of the poets in the book.

She said: “Writing and finally being able to get it all out comes to bring it all back to reality. It’s a way to communicate how you really feel, which a lot of people don’t want to do during COVID. “

The book, Creative Writing Handbook for Health Care Workers, features staff poems as well as tips on creative writing.

Copies are now available in all North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust departments for patients and staff to read.

Mel McEvoy

Mel McEvoy added, “What this award shows is that healthcare professionals recognize that the well-being of staff is an important principle in any healthcare setting.

Now in its 17th year, the Bright Ideas in Health Awards recognize the work of individuals and teams in the NHS, who have improved the services provided to patients.