WriteWell and Cheshire & Merseyside Health and Care Partnership

This joint collaboration between WriteWell and Cheshire and Merseyside aims to bring staff wellbeing to the forefront of the NHS.

Our new collaboration has been formed to develop a bespoke writing for wellbeing initiative to improve social care staff wellbeing in Cheshire and Merseyside. Our cultural prescription will be delivered predominantly online with some face-to-face elements.

There are three projects that we’ll be running, “Writing It Out”, “Write On” and “The Write Stuff” –  NHS Cheshire and Merseyside’s women’s health and maternity programme, Improving Me, is also partnering up with the WriteWell Community during Baby Week and beyond to focus attention on health creation for the healthcare workforce and the public by harnessing the power of the written word.

Jo Ward, Improving Me’s creative health consultant said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to be working with WriteWell and jointly advocating the power of writing yourself well. Writing for 10-15 minutes a day as a regular habit can make you feel better both mentally and physically.’

This project was set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to try and address the huge impact on social care staff’s health and wellbeing. The project aims to target those who have been hit the hardest, and it will help the NHS to understand and address issues staff face around accessing and engaging with creative health and wellbeing initiatives.

Why writing? Because it is good for us, and it works.

Writing can be used in so many ways to support wellbeing. When facing life’s challenges, there can be something very healing about the process of “writing it out”

There is a solid evidence base underpinning writing for wellbeing and a clear body of research, that shows expressive writing helps calm the mind and soothe emotions, while increasing feelings of happiness and wellbeing.

At WriteWell, we encourage people to experiment with writing in a creative learning community, to increase positive feelings and find strength, resilience and calm.

Kate McBarron writing for wellbeing practitioner and tutor at WriteWell says, ‘Writing can be used in so many ways to support wellbeing. When facing life’s challenges, there can be something very healing about the process of “writing it out”. Putting our personal stories on the page, whether as non-fiction or fiction, can offer new perspectives and understanding, and can even help us find a resolution. We can also gain a sense of connection, of being heard, when we share our words with a supportive group.’

NHS England North West social prescribing consultant Jo Ward adds, ’It’s really important to explore this type of cultural prescription for staff to boost wellbeing because we know it works for patients and the experience of many social care staff in relation to their work environments is emotionally taxing and draining. Care staff need to access an effective ‘pick me up’ but also build back resilience.’

This project is funded by NHS Health and Wellbeing Programme and NHS England and NHS Improvement

It is hosted by the Cheshire and Merseyside Personalised Care Team, part of the Cheshire and Merseyside Health Care Partnership. The NHS Health and Wellbeing Programme aims to develop a culture of wellbeing, in which the workforce feel supported and well at work.

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