First wave of rest nests handed over to Trust staff
First wave of fully refurbished, interior-designed staff breakrooms handed over to intensive care, pharmacy and acute medicine teams in new ‘rest nest’ programme.
Three fully refurbished staff ‘rest nests’ have opened at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, marking a major milestone in our staff spaces improvement programme supported by Imperial Health Charity and design company Taylor Howes through their charitable initiative Rest Nest.
Rest nests are full refurbishments and fit-outs of staff breakrooms, professionally designed to transform them into relaxing sanctuaries of calm for staff on busy shifts. The first teams to benefit are the pharmacy team at Hammersmith Hospital, the intensive care team at St Mary’s Hospital and Marjory Warren ward at Charing Cross Hospital, with a combined staff of around 350.
The three rest nests are acting as pilots to inform the planned roll out of premium breakrooms across the organisation. The staff spaces programme also includes improvements to more than 50 other staff spaces so far, including a mix of basic redecoration and refurbishment of breakrooms, changing areas, showers and toilets and the supply of new furniture and kitchen equipment.
In addition, we are in the process of creating large staff-only lounges at Hammersmith and Charing Cross hospitals – supported by Taylor Howes and KSR Architects through a design competition with local design college KLC – and exploring options for a similar lounge at St Mary’s Hospital. We hope to complete the Hammersmith and Charing Cross lounges this spring and the St Mary’s lounge later in 2022. Over £1.2m will be spent on the staff spaces programme in the financial year to 31 March 2022 and a decision has been made to continue with a new allocation of Charity - and Trust - funding for the financial year 2022/23 to enable more staff space improvements.
Professor Tim Orchard, chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Covid-19 has undoubtedly been one of the biggest challenges the NHS has ever faced. As we continue to work with our patients and partners to respond to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we must also take whatever positives we can from all that has been achieved and learnt over the past two years. Not least, this means maintaining our renewed focus on the health and wellbeing of all of our staff. Ensuring high quality staff spaces, together with expanding our counselling services and transforming our food and shops offer, is the start of a wide range of sustainable developments to improve our staff’s working lives.
“The pilot rest nests – and the wider staff spaces programme – have demonstrated our organisational values brilliantly, benefiting from the fantastic collaboration, aspiration, kindness and expertise of all involved. Particular thanks to the staff in the pilot areas, Taylor Howes – who have given all of their time for free - Imperial Heath Charity and everyone who donated to its Covid-19 Relief Fund appeal, our estates and engagement teams and our building contractors.”
Charlotte Jaye, lead nurse for acute medicine at Charing Cross Hospital said: “Our break room was a dull and depressing space for staff with many of the team preferring to sit outside rather than eat in the room. The room was really crying out for an overhaul and we are so delighted to be chosen to get one of the first rest nests. The space is now light, airy, calming and welcoming. Morale has been at an all-time low recently and the work is relentless, so this is a fabulous place to unwind during our breaks and ensure our team feel valued and recognised for all the hard work they put in 24 hours a day.”
Sarah Robinson, lead nurse for critical care at St Mary’s Hospital said: “The new rest nest has made an invaluable improvement to the quality of our day-to-day environment and the team's wellbeing. The bright and modern design has provided a peaceful area and a place to take a moment of calm and recuperate during the working day. Following on from the exceptional commitment demonstrated by the team throughout the pandemic, we are so grateful for the positive impact this space will have.”
Karen Howes, chief executive of Taylor Howes and originator of the rest nest concept, commented: “Rest Nest was founded in 2018 to create spaces that act as a lasting ‘thank you’ to our nursing and medical community for the incredible work that they do on a day-to-day basis and by partnering with Imperial College Healthcare we have now made this a reality. To work with the Trust in the delivery of these spaces has meant we’ve been able to transform them, handing back to them a truly nonclinical environment to encourage relaxation and mental wellness. We hope the rooms will provide the NHS staff with a safe haven in which to find the headspace needed to manage the challenges the team faces daily.”
Ian Lush, chief executive of Imperial Health Charity, said: “Throughout the pandemic we have been proud to support our remarkable NHS staff every step of the way, and we have witnessed first hand the enormous personal contribution they have made to maintain exceptional patient care during a period of such extraordinary pressure. I’m delighted that we have been able to work in partnership with the Trust to fund the staff spaces programme, and I hope our hard-working hospital teams will enjoy using these new rest nests to take a break, relax and unwind during stressful moments.”