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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Alert Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

Patients and visitors must wear a face covering in our hospitals.

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Physical wellness

Maintaining your physical wellbeing can be tricky to do when life is busy and you are finding yourself subject to many demands on your time.

Often, looking after ourselves is something we sacrifice when trying to navigate difficult or challenging situations.

While it may feel that taking time to rest, eat well, exercise or seek medical support for ourselves is taking us away from the activities that we need to complete, or that we are just too tired to bother; there are many studies that show the benefits of doing just that.

By looking after our physical wellbeing we can benefit ourselves in terms of both our productivity and ability to complete tasks well, as well as improving our mental wellbeing and overall health.

Taking action to care for yourself is not a selfish act; looking after yourself and maintaining your own health and wellbeing is the first step to being able to look after others.

Consider the aeroplane oxygen mask analogy: during every safety briefing before an aeroplane takes off, passengers are reminded that, in the event of an emergency, "place the oxygen mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others".

COVID-19 testing

We offer testing for COVID-19 to OUH staff and their households:

COVID-19 staff FAQs: staff testing


COVID-19 staff FAQs: vaccine information

Safety huddles

To help keep us all well-informed and safe, we have started 'safety huddles' to cascade important information and updates within our teams.

OUH Chief Nursing Officer, Sam Foster, and Prof Meghana Pandit, Chief Medical Officer, have made a video outlining how Safety Huddles work, which you can watch on YouTube:

A message about safety huddles

Think Pause Recharge

Our Trust Campaign 'Think Pause Recharge' recognises the importance of taking breaks and aims to encourage you to take time during your working day to care for yourself, as you would others.

For more about this campaign please watch this video on YouTube:

Think Pause Recharge

Wellness checks

If you take time off work for medical reasons, either your line manager or a member of your local HR team will contact you to find out how you are.

We will use the contact details held by your department or FirstCare to call you on or before your eighth day of absence, and make a plan to stay in contact with you during the remainder of your absence.

We will offer any support we can while you are off work, and help plan a supported return to work.

If there is anything you need while you are absent, please ask your line manager or local HR team for details of help available, or a referral to Occupational Health if appropriate.

Risk assessments

To protect our staff during COVID-19, line managers must undertake a risk assessment for each member of their team to identify any underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to severe COVID-19, and adjust their work to reduce the risk.

Occupational Health has produced a risk assessment form outlining this process, and there is a separate risk assessment form for people with asthma.

There is also additional guidance for our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) colleagues and their line managers to support with completing a risk assessment. This is in recognition of the disproportionate impact COVID-19 is having on our BAME colleagues and the BAME population as a whole.

Please visit the Occupational Health intranet for the risk assessments and guidance or contact Occupational Health directly.

Here for Health

Our Here for Health team offers personalised and holistic health and wellbeing support in areas such as:

  • self-care for general wellbeing
  • keeping active
  • stopping smoking
  • eating well
  • weight management
  • reducing alcohol intake.

We provide a safe space and the time to explore what would benefit you the most and the opportunity to create a step-by-step action plan that is achievable. You are at the centre of the discussion and remain completely in control.

We also act as an information and resource hub covering a wide range of health and wellbeing topics and community support services.

From June 2021 we plan to offer mini health check sessions for teams. To find out more and register your interest please contact us.


Health and wellbeing talks

These talks are now hosted on the Trust's YouTube channel - you will need a modern browser such as Google Chrome to access these.

OUH Staff Resource Hub - YouTube

Employee Assistance Programme

Please see Employee Assistance Programme.

Your own General Practitioner (GP)

General Practitioners (GPs) are still working and yours may be your best source of help or referral, especially if they are already aware of any problems you have.

Eating well

Finding time to cook and eat can be challenging when things are busy, but sometimes it is hard to get food for reasons such as unavailability of products or lack of time to shop.

With the current challenge we may all need to think about adapting our eating habits and styles.

One way is to make use of apps such as myfridgefood or supercook where you can input the foods you have in your cupboards and the website will give you recipe suggestions based on these. These websites and apps can help inspire you to explore new ideas and avoid food waste.

Getting food while 'self-isolating' or 'shielding'

If you need help to get food due to self-isolating or shielding, you may be able to register on the Government list as clinically extremely vulnerable. If you need help deciding if you should be on this list, discuss this with your GP.

Oxfordshire County Council offers a point of contact for vulnerable people to ask for the extra help they may need:

Oxfordshire County Council: 01865 249811

Healthy eating

Here for Health

For general advice on healthy eating, please visit the British Dietetic Association website:

British Dietetic Association - Healthy Eating: Food Fact Sheet

Rest and relaxation

When working in the caring profession, we sometimes experience working additional hours, long shifts, challenges taking rest breaks and difficulty being able to 'switch off' and relax when leaving work.

As well as Here for Health, Occupational Health and the Employee Assistance Programme, you may want to consider some of the following resources for advice on techniques and support for improving your rest and sleep periods.

NHS staff have been given free access to a number of wellbeing apps until the end of December 2020 to support their mental health and wellbeing.


Headspace is a science-backed app providing tools and resources to help reduce stress, build resilience and aid better sleep.

Sign up for Headspace free with your NHS email address



Breathing exercise for stress -

Keeping fit

Here for Health

The NHS website offers ideas on how you can build physical activity into your day:

Better Health

Whether you want to lose weight, get active or quit smoking, Better Health is here with lots of free tools and support.

Better Health - NHS website

Doing Our Bit

Dedicated, original fitness content to help keep NHS staff healthy. OUH staff email addresses are recognised, allowing free access to all of it.

#DoingOurBit - NHS member sign-up

Activity Hub

Ideas to help you move, smile and stay well.

Oxford City Council Activity Hub

GO Active Outdoors

When you are out and about, please follow current guidelines to keep you and others safe.

GO Active Outdoors

Dealing with addiction

If you feel you might benefit from some professional help from outside the workplace, try your GP or one of the organisations below:

Here for Health

Talk to Frank: 0300 123 6600
Confidential, free drug and alcohol advisory service

Turning Point
Drug, alcohol and mental health support

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Guide to health and wellness - In this guide