The soft launch of Oscar Kilo’s National Wellbeing Service was one of several key talking points at our annual Upbeat! conference in Leeds.
Chief Constable of Lancashire Andy Rhodes outlined the purpose of the service – that being to provide a national standard across UK policing.
“We needed a fundamental shift in our way of thinking around the whole model of policing” commented Rhodes.
“Inconsistency is a real issue across all 43 forces. We are…quite frankly…all over the place”.
Andy also emphasized the key ambitions of the new service. Namely to develop personal resilience within officers, ensure staff are more confident about speaking up and giving everyone the best personalized care possible. A major aim is to reach officers before a possible crisis point. This is to be achieved largely through the desire to have up to ten Outreach vehicles, each of which could carry out physical and psychological health-checks on officers and staff across the country.
This would be on top of actively developing peer-support across different forces and building on their existing research into mental health.
The presentation was one example of the dedication and commitment that was on display during the conference, which hosted over 150 delegates.
Overseen by distinguished journalist and broadcaster Alastair Stewart, the two days consisted of a variety of presentations on crucial topics such as supporting those leaving the service, the role of the Force Medical Examiner and the need for strong wellbeing practices during a major incident.
This last point was demonstrated by Chief Inspector of Wiltshire Police Kier Pritchard and Head of Occupational Health Penny Fuller, who each outlined their responses to the Novichock attacks in Sailsbury and Amsbury last year. Their established, people-centred approach as well as the formation of Wellfare Cell allowed the force to adapt to the unknown threat and apply their own methods to outside officers coming in.
The first day saw a series of smaller, afternoon breakout sessions which addressed global approaches to officer welfare, new trauma processing techniques and the importance of mindfulness in policing.
The evening’s Oscar Kilo awards congratulated those behind well-researched, force-wide projects that had a positive impact on all their workforce. A list of the individual categories, and winners for each, is included below.
We are pleased to report that Upbeat! was a major success, and we once again thank all of those who made it possible.
Personal Resilience category:
Staffordshire Police, ‘Are you getting enough’ campaign
Mental health category:
Essex Police, Feel Well, Live Well
Lincolnshire Police – force-wide culture change wellbeing programme.
Creating the environment category
Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies for their collaborative workplace health and wellbeing service
Protecting the Workforce category
the Police Service of Northern Ireland for the use of therapy dogs for PTSD