Charity Funds ‘Wobble Rooms’ for NHS Staff in Middlesbrough Hospital

NHS staff have been under increasing pressure to cope with the demands of the global pandemic. One hospital in Middlesbrough has come up with a unique way to give their staff a break from the pressures of dealing with the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thanks to funding by the South Tees Hospitals Charity, so-called ‘wobble rooms’ are being opened at James Cook University Hospital to provide a safe space for staff who are feeling overwhelmed.

The charity is now appealing to the public to donate items for the rooms.

Ben Murphy, head of the charity, said: “The staff across James Cook and all our hospitals have been working incredibly hard during these challenging times and we just wanted to do something that would support them and give them a comfy place to take some time out when they needed it.

“It’s just a safe space where they can relax and gather their thoughts a little bit.”

The charity has set up a wish list of items members of staff said they would find useful, and includes CD players, headphones and relaxation music, as well as basics such as tea, coffee and snacks and mindfulness items such as colouring books.

Debbie Christian, a lead nurse for COVID support, returned to the frontline to help fight against the virus after retiring last year. The ex-matron’s new role is to support the ward teams during the pandemic.

Debbie said: “I would say the staff morale is pretty good here, it’s nice to see. I would say at the minute they’re absolutely doing amazing but there is always some incident where some staff will have a wobble.

“They will feel they need time off the ward, time away from the situation and this helps them.”

Debbie said that the hospital staff have the full support of their line manager as well as a team of medical psychologists. The ‘wobble rooms’ provide a quiet space where staff are able to relax, collect their thoughts or shed a few tears if things becomes too much for them.

Debbie added: “It’s a nice quiet area, it’s comfortable and they can get a drink there. They can sit and someone will listen to them.

“If they want to see a medical psychologist, they can do that. They are there and very supportive. There is a book to leave comments about how they find the benefits of being able to use the room. I think it’s really helping judging by the comments.”