Work programme 8

Staff and member wellbeing service

The staff and member wellbeing service for the Neighbourhoods and Dementia study was open to all staff and co-researchers with dementia who were part of the study.

The service offered one-to-one sessions with a clinical psychologist, which could be accessed in any circumstance that was deemed to give rise to a psychological need. The focus of the service was not on problems, but on flourishing, and people were encouraged to undertake sessions in a range of circumstances.

The way sessions were used was flexible to need, for example, some people met regularly with the clinical psychologist over several years, whereas others used the service more intensely for a short period.

A self-referral process was available for staff. People living with dementia could self-refer or be referred by a member of staff on the Neighbourhoods and Dementia study.


  • A total of 13 staff referrals were made to the well-being service. This was over 25% of the overall staff population for the study.
  • Two referrals were made for people living with dementia.
  • Seven participants took part in a research study exploring the impact of the well-being service. The results found:
    • staff made use of the service for a variety of reasons;
    • there are benefits to having a dedicated staff wellbeing service;
    • helpful elements of sessions included: developing formulations, identifying existing coping strategies, and having a space where staff felt they mattered and were listened to;
    • change included staff interpreting situations differently, improved self-care, staff remaining in post, improved performance and leadership, and improved staff relationships.

What next?

  • The wellbeing service model used in the Neighbourhoods and Dementia study has been well received and will be promoted for use in future grant applications.
  • Dr Elvish, the Principal Investigator, is keen to develop the work that has been undertaken to date, and she is continuing to make links with researchers who may like to build a well-being model into their studies.
  • Opportunities for funding are also being explored for studies in which the well-being service would be the primary focus.

The University of Manchester

  • Ruth Elvish – Principal Investigator and Clinical Lead
  • Alex Turner – Honorary Research Associate


Staffordshire University

  • Jennifer Wells Honorary Research Assistant