Ward visits, virtual coaching and mindfulness sessions are just some of the ways Western Sydney Local Health District’s (WSHLD) organisational development consultant Shari Hendriks and People and Culture team are supporting staff through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out what she had to say.

What is your role at WSLHD?

I’m an organisational development consultant and I’m currently co-leading the Workforce Wellness team, part of the District’s People and Culture department.

The Workplace Wellness team is predominantly made up of organisational development and learning staff, and we collaborate with human resource business partners and other staff groups throughout the District.

Our role is to support staff across the District, which incorporates Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt, Auburn and Cumberland hospitals as well as our community health centres.

How would you describe the impact of COVID on staff?

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and care for ourselves, as well as our families, colleagues and patients.

Everyone should be commended for rapidly adapting to these many workplace changes.

Working in the health environment and experiencing a pandemic of this magnitude can naturally lead to an increase in anxiety, confusion and challenges for staff both at work and home.

What are you doing to help staff?

We have established drop-in centres and staff information points so staff have someone to talk to whenever they need it.

We’re here to advise staff and their families on how they can stay physically and emotionally well, obtain referrals to other support services such as a manager coaching service, or simply for someone to talk to.

We appreciate not everyone has time to come see us, so the Workplace Wellness team is also visiting departments and wards to provide a friendly check in – while complying with social distancing measures of course.

We’ve also set up a wellbeing site for staff and their families to access for information and support at any time.

We are here to help all staff, both clinical and non-clinical, to feel more informed, supported, focused and valued during this difficult time.

How many staff have benefited?

So far, more than 1,500 staff have interacted with a consultant through the visits and virtual services we provide.

How would you describe your work?

It’s a privilege to be able to support our extraordinary healthcare staff who are working tirelessly to keep our communities healthy, and to witness staff pulling together to ensure the best outcomes for our patients.

We want our staff to feel supported and ensure they have the right tools and resources in place to help them get through this challenging time.​

Current as at: Wednesday 29 April 2020
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW