South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, (SECAmb), is investing in a support programme to assist staff and volunteers who have been exposed to traumatic events.

The Trust is investing £40,000 per year, initially for the next two years, into its Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) programme.

TRiM, founded by March on Stress, and introduced across SECAmb in 2016, uses structured peer-to-peer conversations with trained practitioners to help identify people who display signs of acute stress and supports their recovery following an incident, signposting to onward care where necessary.

Historically, SECAmb has asked colleagues to train and provide TRiM on a voluntary basis. The investment will enable the Trust to build on the programme’s success and develop a sustainable, long-term approach for its provision.

SECAmb is considered to be among the most successful organisations in implementing the TRiM ‘train the trainer’ package. To date, more than 1,100 individuals in SECAmb have been helped through TRiM with a current team of 125 practitioners giving up their time to help their colleagues. The success of TRiM is evidenced by just four per cent requiring onward referral for further additional help.

SECAmb TRiM lead Natalie Cole said: “This investment is really welcomed. While it is fantastic colleagues have been willing to volunteer for this role to support their peers, it wasn’t a sustainable approach.

“Working in the ambulance service is an extremely rewarding career but can, of course, also expose staff and volunteers to some very challenging and upsetting experiences. We are fortunate that so many colleagues have stepped up to be trained to provide this support and it is great news that the Trust is committed to ensuring this success is built upon and developed.”