Keeping Victoria's healthcare workers healthy

A new virtual support centre for healthcare workers will make sure those who dedicate their time to caring for Victorians have access to physical and mental health support when they need it.

 

Minister for Health Martin Foley has announced the opening of the healthcare worker wellbeing centre as part of a $9.8 million allocation from the Victorian Government to protect the physical safety of workers in health services and provide improved support for mental health and wellbeing.

 

Mr Foley said, “The coronavirus pandemic highlighted how important it is to protect the wellbeing of our healthcare workers – not just in providing a safe work environment, but to address the stress and anxiety they may feel day to day.

 

The centre will provide a central resource for staff directing them to existing tailored support programs, but will expand in the coming months – taking on feedback from healthcare workers on the care they need.

 

Through Safer Care Victoria, healthcare workers will shape the future of the centre and the support it provides –responding to the areas of greatest need for workers in hospitals, primary health, aged care and community health services.

 

The centre will share tools, resources and training to help organisational leaders and managers better support their staff, and look at ways to create system-wide changes to ensure worker wellbeing is a priority across the entire Victorian health system.

 

The Government’s healthcare worker wellbeing package also includes the Healthcare Worker Wellbeing Grant Program – which has already received more than 80 applications for extra in-person psychosocial support for the health workforce.

 

The new centre will complement the Government’s existing initiatives to keep staff safe like peer training, individual services’ wellbeing programs, targeted family violence support for healthcare workers and a recently expanded pilot to support staff who lodge a mental health injury worker’s compensation claim.

 

The Government is supporting healthcare workforce to stay safe as we move through Victoria’s recovery from the pandemic – including PPE spotters in hospitals, spot checks of health services’ COVIDSafe plans, PPE fit-testing, improvements to staff amenities and data analysis of COVID infections that have occurred in hospitals.

 

9 February 2021.