The national police wellbeing outreach service is a fleet of bespoke fitted vans, which can deploy to operating bases across England and Wales, providing a platform to deliver physical, psychological and financial health checks to officers and staff. The vans are supported by local Occupational Health staff from each force area. Forces often deploy an extended support team which may include financial advisors, Police Federation, Chaplaincy members, Trades Unions and Staff Support Networks.
There are currently four vehicles in the fleet, but this will grow to ten vehicles during 2020, providing a national reach. It also means that there will be increased capability so that the vans can to respond to major and significant policing incidents where there may be an immediate need to provide extra wellbeing and welfare support.
From research and feedback from various forces, we know that officers and staff often do not feel they have the time in their day to seek advice or support for their own wellbeing so these vans have been introduced so forces can bring their wellbeing services to the frontline.
They are an opportunity for forces to make sure staff know what services are available should they ever need it whether that be in relation to their mental or physical health, finances, advice about work / life balance, or anything else for that matter.
Staff don’t have to need support or advice to come along – the vans offer the opportunity for people just to pop in, spend five minutes having a look around, take some information away in case they, or a member of their team, need that support in the future.
If anyone does need advice or support, the van will be staffed with people who can help there and then or signpost out to the places that can.
The vans are not designed to be a fix or a one off solution – they are part of a wide range of support available to your force from the National Police Wellbeing Service that should see staff with options for support- year round – 24/7.
The key components of the outreach service are:
- Physical health checks by medically trained practitioner
- Psychological health questionnaire offering a wellbeing score, supported by psychologically trained practitioners
- Financial health checks through Police Mutual.
- A chance to promote wellbeing services available in forces.
Each vehicle has been fitted with a private medical area to allow physical or psychological health checks and a wellbeing and social area with a water heater, a fridge, mood lighting and information stands. Each vehicle is fitted with a DVD/TV, which allows the force to utilise and provide key messages around wellbeing, and supported with material from Oscar Kilo in an audio and visual format.
In addition, each vehicle has an external weatherproof area in the form of an awning or a gazebo, which allows extra space for consultation and engagement and this is equipped with a large table and six chairs. Evaluation is conducted via a simple debrief form which will be forwarded to you after the deployment
The main aim of the outreach service is to bring wellbeing to the front line, therefore it is imperative that the van is deployed to operational police stations and not just training centres or headquarters. Consideration should be given to deployment times to maximise the foot fall of users to ensure that as many people as possible are given the opportunity to use the service. A full communications toolkit will be provided prior to deployment to allow the vehicle to be publicised internally.
It is recommended that forces seek support from their local branches or Police Federation, Unison and other staff associations, to support the offer during the time the van is deployed.
Comprehensive deployment guidance and supporting documentation including the service level agreement, user guide and communications toolkit, is available and provided to each force upon loan of the vehicle. You can download a copy here.
Early Evaluation Findings
To date, 24 forces across England and Wales have used the vehicles. Early evaluation results suggest that the user overall has a positive experience, with 78% of on-line respondents rating their experience as excellent, and 96% stating that they would visit the van again and 95% would recommend it to a colleague or friend. More importantly a large proportion of users who reported wellbeing issues, intended to seek help or change their behaviour.
Service Availability and Booking
The vans are available to book by Police Forces from England and Wales. To check availability and book your van please use our online booking system. For any queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org