Facilities 22 May 2022

The Wellbeing Hub: a sanctuary away from the wards

Thanks to supporters who gave so generously to our Hospital Heroes Appeal in 2020, we were able to set up a temporary Wellbeing Hub for exhausted staff in King’s College Hospital during the pandemic. With further funding, we have now been able to ensure that that the Hub is a permanent fixture.
Photo of a room with grey carpet, comfy purple chairs and soft lighting

During the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, members of staff were working long hours away from their family and home. Social distancing rules meant they weren’t allowed to sit in the canteen or coffee shops on site. Without any opportunity to physically or mentally step away from the wards, there was little relief from the stresses of their working day. So, we set up a temporary space that was warm and welcoming, where staff could get a hot or cold drink, have something to eat, chat to colleagues and, if need be, seek the support of a trained psychologist. 

Throughout the pandemic, the temporary Hub was a huge success and it soon became evident that the space was an essential resource – so, we were determined to make it a permanent fixture. In 2021, alongside our own funding, we secured £50,000 from NHS Charities Together and £100,000 from the Monday Charitable Trust to develop and complete the new permanent space, which officially opened on 3rd May 2022.

The new permanent Hub is open to staff 24 hours a day and has a kitchenette and coffee machines. Soft lighting helps create a calm and relaxing area away from the wards, and the comfortable furniture can be moved around for various group sizes and activities, such as yoga and meditation classes. As well as using the area to take a break and have a cup of tea, staff say that the hub helps foster moral support between colleagues. 

“King’s is an amazing place to work, and having this safe space to unwind and support each other definitely makes it a bit easier to cope.”
Hosanna, Cardiac Research Facilitator

Supported by volunteers, the Hub is run by a health and wellbeing team leader and two wellbeing facilitators. The staff psychology team are also on hand to support staff who need mental health and wellbeing guidance. This holistic approach ensures that every member of staff has a comfortable space to unwind in, as well as immediate access to coordinated emotional and psychological support.

The wellbeing hub survey

In the first week of opening, the new Wellbeing Hub had an average footfall of over 1,200 every day:

  • Over 97% said they visited the Wellbeing Hub regularly, with 77% visiting daily.
  • More than half said they used the space to relax and connect with colleagues, and the remaining 46% used the space to seek help, unwind and de-stress. 
  • 100% said that they felt less stressed, their mental wellbeing had improved, and they were able to find help when they needed it. 
  • 100% of staff surveyed said that the Hub was an essential resource. 
“I cannot praise the health and wellbeing facilitators highly enough - they are always willing to listen and provide a safe space. Recently, I was struggling to deal with the after-effects of a long and difficult shift in the maternity unit. It was so helpful to be able to talk things through. It made a huge difference to me.
Ghislaine Bowden, Midwife and Clinical Skills Facilitator
Photo of red chairs in front of a wall with a mural of a calm lake in countryside

Image: One of the murals outside the Wellbeing Hub, providing a tranquil space for staff to unwind and connect, both inside and outside.