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How to get support - our wellbeing offers

On this page, you’ll find details of the some of the wellbeing support we can offer, such as coaching, group support, and other ways to regulate the stress in your body or mind.

If you need more specialist support, we can arrange one-to-one sessions with experienced NHS therapists and clinicians, on a one-time or ongoing basis. You can contact the Hub by:

After you get in touch with the Hub, if you need more support, a clinician will talk with you in more detail to find out what you need help with and what might suit you best. They’ll then help you to access the right resources and services providing support.

Our Link Workers will be proactively reaching out to staff who are particularly likely to need support due to the nature of their work or their personal circumstances.

Wellbeing offers

The Hub is running a brief CBT group intervention for needle/injection phobia. This has been set up to support NHS and other care staff who are having difficulty receiving their Covid-19 vaccination due to a needle/injection phobia.

What is injection phobia?

Many people have anxiety around injections to some extent, but once that anxiety becomes a persistent, excessive and unreasonable fear, then the fear becomes a phobia. Injection/needle phobia is the fear and avoidance of receiving various types of injections, and/or of giving a blood sample.

This is a specific phobia and is extremely common yet not very well recognised. It is thought to affect between 3.5 % to 10% of the population. The avoidance, anxiety or distress caused by injection/needle phobia can significantly interfere with a person’s normal routine, occupational or academic functioning, and social activities or relationships. A recent review identified that 8% of NHS staff who were hesitant to have a flu vaccine were hesitant because of an injection phobia.

If you would like some help with an injection phobia, the Hub sessions are running as follows:

  • Wednesday 2 February 2022 from 2 - 5pm in Conference Room 1, Walkergate Park Hospital, NE6 4QD
  • Wednesday 9 February 2022 from 3 - 6pm in Conference Room 1, Walkergate Park Hospital. NE6 4QD

Please contact the hub directly to book a place HubsTheWord@cntw.nhs.uk


The Hub psychological therapists are now running a Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia group intervention (CBT-i). This is a 6 week course, 1.5 hours per session, delivered via MS Teams which is available through either self-referral or referral by a Hub clinician. If you self-refer then you will be offered a screening assessment to ensure this intervention is suitable for your sleep problems.

What is CBTi (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia)

CBT-i is a non-medical treatment for insomnia that is based upon scientific knowledge about sleep. The aims of the programme are to help participants fall asleep, stay asleep and, because of better sleep at night, this can improve daily functioning.

As its name suggests, CBT-I has two main parts: ‘cognitive’ and ‘behavioural’. The cognitive aspect of the programme explores the relationship between thoughts, feelings and expectations about sleep that might be in themselves, barriers to getting a good night’s sleep.

The behavioural part supports the changing of behaviours and habits, and routines, based upon the science of sleep,  that can help improve sleep.


This programme is for adults referred to or receiving support from the Hub who are presenting with insomnia.

What is insomnia?

The diagnosis of Insomnia is based on the following five criteria

The complaint

Difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep or experiencing sleep that is not restorative

Its frequency


More than 3 nights per week

Its severity

Sleep-onset latency (SOL) or wake time after sleep onset (WASO) more than 30 minutes

Its duration


More than 6 months

Its effects

Marked distress, difficulty with social and/or occupational functioning, and/or other meaningful consequences

The group programme

The programme lasts for 6 weeks, an initial session which comprises of a one-to-one assessment and then a rolling programme of 4 session (so that we can support people accessing this intervention as quickly as possible).  The final session will be a follow up either group or individual session.

If you are interested in this course, please contact the Hub via email hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk or phone 0191 223 2030 and we will offer you a screening appointment. If you are currently receiving support from a member of the Hub team please speak to them for advice about whether this course would be helpful for you.

We all know that whilst working in healthcare can be very rewarding, it can also be very stressful, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. One important and powerful way to support ourselves is through practicing self-compassion.

This online course has been designed by Clinical Psychologist Dr Chris Irons. As Dr Irons knows that working in healthcare can be ‘full-on,’ it is an easy to access programme which helps you get the maximum benefits with a minimal amount of time commitment.

The programme consists of:

  • Four 30-minute videos, intended to be viewed once per week, which guide you through key ideas and practices of self-compassion. Each is accompanied by a short summary handout.
  • A variety of practices, each less than 10 minutes, designed to build self-compassion and reduce psychological distress.

The online course is currently being evaluated at University College London, and initial results show that people who complete the course have seen significant reductions in depression, anxiety, stress, shame, self-criticism, and feelings of insecurity in relationships.

For more information, please email hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk

The regional Integrated Care System is very aware of the amazing work that many psychology staff are doing to support their frontline colleagues. As part of the NHS-E funding for staff support we would like to offer ‘the scaffolders’ a space to reflect. This will hopefully be a safe space to practice what we preach, look after ourselves and help to inform the hub of the kind of themes that may be emerging for staff bearing the burden of the impact of the pandemic in order to create support for them matching their evolving needs.

Balint Groups

In essence, Balint Groups are a way of reflecting upon Clinical work using a psychodynamic/psychoanalytic model and are conducted on the basis that participants ‘will bring along’ a clinical case e.g. a patient and/or recent, perhaps troubling, case/encounter. Notes are usually not used.  

The presenting member outlines the case and then ‘sits back’ and the remaining participants discuss the case/patient in a reflective and associative sort of way i.e. not discussing e.g. the progress and outcome but try instead to get under the surface as to ‘what is going on’ in the relationship between clinician and patient.   So, the tools are fantasy, countertransference, imagination, association etc.

Balint Groups usually last 60-90 minutes are often held say, fortnightly and over an extended period of time, e.g. in ‘Terms’ of ten sessions.


Taking Care-Giving Care (TCGC) Groups

Taking Care-Giving Care (TCGC)  groups are more structured and again last for 60—90 minutes and are concerned with Compassion – how we offer it to our patients and how we can offer it to our colleagues and crucially, to ourselves.   Such sessions are often delivered as either one-offs or over two to three sessions.   The structured exercises are only so many and repetition would set-in.

A Bespoke Model

These are not either-or options and sometime a more evolving reflective/supportive group can be devised and be adapted over time, i.e. Bespoke Model is devised to fit the needs of each particular team.

Read more: Staff wellbeing Hub Group Support - further information.

For more information, please email hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk

Mindfulness is about paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – and there is strong evidence that it can support good mental health and wellbeing. The TEWV Staff Mindfulness Service are offering a variety of mindfulness sessions and drop-ins for all health and care staff:

Taster sessions

The TEWV NHS Mindfulness Team is offering online mindfulness taster sessions to health and care staff. You can sign up for free, no prior experience required. These will include information on what mindfulness is, some mindfulness practice, and an exploration of ways that you could practice mindfulness to support your wellbeing.

Upcoming taster sessions:

Monday 14 February 3 - 5pm

Tuesday 1 March 3 - 5pm

Monday 28 March 3 - 5pm

Tuesday 5 April 10am - 12

Wednesday 6 April 10am - 12

To book a place on a taster session, please email tewv.mindfulness@nhs.net or call 01325 552017.

8-week courses

Our 8-week courses course combine training in mindfulness with elements of cognitive therapy. They take place online (via MS Teams) and happen several times a year. Each weekly session is for two and a quarter hours. Our next set of courses start in May 2022, so get in touch soon if you are interested:

Mondays 11am - 1.15 starting on 9 May (no meeting 30 May), day of mindfulness 27 June, finish 11 July

Tuesdays 10am -12.15 starting on 10 May (no meeting 31 May), day of mindfulness 28 June, finish 12 July

Wednesdays – 10am -12.15 starting on 11 May (no meeting 1 June), day of mindfulness  29 June, finish 13 July

To book a place, please contact the TEWV mindfulness team: by email – tewv.mindfulness@nhs.net or by phone – 01325 552017 If you’d like more information about our mindfulness from the TEWV team, read here.

Online drop-in sessions

Staff mindfulness drop-in sessions are for health and care staff who would like to attend short mindfulness sessions to support their wellbeing. No previous experience of mindfulness is necessary.

The sessions are mindfulness practice based with some opportunity for brief discussion. These sessions aim to be responsive to the needs of those that attend. The drop-ins run on the following times:

Mondays 10 – 10:30am

Wednesdays 12.30 – 13.00pm

Thursdays  8.30 – 9am

Please email TEWV.mindfulness@nhs.net if you would like to register to attend and be added to the emailing list to receive the weekly Teams links.


Readhead Associates work with the Staff Wellbeing Hub to provide bespoke one to one coaching and mentoring to individual staff members via phone, teams or zoom, usually over 2 to 3 sessions, spaced 3 months apart.

The main focus of this coaching is career development and retirement planning with an emphasis on developing skills and goal planning for the short, medium and long term.

For more info, please email hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk

GemArts: Cultural threads

Cultural threads is an arts, health and wellbeing programme by GemArts who work with professional artists across diverse art forms to help you to:

  • Develop new creative skills and interests
  • Have fun and connect with others
  • Access networks and support to improve mindfulness, health and wellbeing

Each arts activity takes place over 7 weekly sessions, delivered via Zoom in a relaxing, supportive and friendly atmosphere.

It's free to join (15 places per activity). All arts materials to take part will be provided, and no prior arts experience required.

Upcoming sessions:

Chinese Water Colour

Tuesday 1 February 2022, 7 - 8.30pm

The sessions include an introduction to paints, tools and materials. You will develop creative skills in:

  • Chinese brush painting
  • Learn how to paint landscapes, flowers, animals
  • Chinese calligraphy

Visual Arts from around the world with artist Jayamini de Silva

Thursday 3 February, 1 - 2.30pm

Take a creative trip across the world and develop new skills in:

  • Dot Mandala painting
  • Origami
  • Aboriginal art
  • Chinese calligraphy
  • Henna painting....plus more!

Spoken Word & Poetry with poet Tahmina Ali

Starting Wednesday 2 February, 10 - 11.30am

These fun sessions will enable you to:

  • Understand how poetry can be used as a tool for expression
  • Explore a range of styles and performance methods
  • Develop your own creative writing style and performance skills
  • Create a collective and/or individual poem

South American Dance Styles with dance artist Yuvel Soria

Starting Thursday 3 February 2022, 11am - 12pm

Get you yourself active and fit with step by step fun dance sessions for absolute beginners, including elements of:

  • Zumba based on Latin rhythms
  • Traditional Bolivian dances
  • Salsa without a partner 

If anyone is interested in putting their name on the list for any of these sessions then please email by 14 January 2022 the staff wellbeing hub hubstheword@cntw.nhs.uk.

Notes from the Frontline 

This free online event was a collaboration between NHS staff and professional composers and musicians brought together by the Connection Through Music volunteers. Experience the power of musical creativity as an act of collective resistance against the challenges of the pandemic. Watch the video here.

The North East and North Cumbria ICS were given funding in 2020 by the local Health Education England team to provide some online training for healthcare staff during the COVID-19 pandemic both to support their service delivery and also support their wellbeing. This consisted of a series of experiential learning webinars that were recorded for use as an ongoing online resource.

Because the pandemic has had a multifaceted impact on people and communities, the webinars covered a range of topics that were informed by the evidence about managing and healing from adversity. They covered aspects of relational support, leadership, service design, specific interventions and tools, safety (both physical and social), unintended consequences and issues of empowerment and social cohesion (see Kennedy, 2019 model).

Recordings of these webinars, supporting documents and further information can be found on the Recovery College Online website.

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