VetLed HALT Campaign
Launched 16th March 2018, World Sleep Day
The VetLed HALT campaign champions safe, efficient and effective veterinary care. HALT is an acronym that has been used in numerous contexts for decades. It serves as a simple tool that places the spotlight on some of the physical and mental elements commonly affecting wellbeing and performance:
As part of our focus on enhancing performance in practice, we will be promoting our HALT campaign nationally. It will be driven by our patient safety, human factors and strategic communications experts, with the aim of reinforcing the importance of physical and mental wellbeing within our profession.
We believe that raising awareness of this issue has the potential to significantly impact the wellbeing of professionals in the veterinary industry, and as a consequence improve care - for the animals we treat, and also for our fellow veterinary professionals.
We know that working for long hours without taking breaks isn’t healthy - not for individuals, their colleagues or their patients. It doesn’t make anyone more productive either. The HALT campaign encourages everybody to focus on their wellbeing, recognise physical and emotional states, and take regular breaks.
Whilst aspects within HALT might seem obvious, the reality of the human condition is that we don’t always do what we know we should. Often the instinctive need to achieve the current goal beats the logical intention to stay hydrated, to take a break or to take time to address sources of stress. Combine this with social pressure such as team members (especially leaders/managers) not taking their breaks, and it’s inevitable that ‘pushing on regardless’ then becomes the cultural norm.
Unsurprisingly, this is a common issue in healthcare; research from the Medical Protection Society into doctors under investigation, revealed that HALT were common prevailing issues. As such, our HALT campaign is aligned another currently being led by Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Playing a key role in this campaign is Dr Mike Farquhar, Consultant in Sleep Medicine at Guys & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust who points out,
“Unless critically ill patients require your immediate attention, our patients are always better served by clinicians who have had appropriate periods of rest during their shifts”
HALT is not only an acronym but also acts as a reminder to pause and check in with ourselves. Even a brief pause can help to recognise how we are feeling. As part of the campaign we will communicate simple steps on how to manage aspects within HALT but above all, we will advocate the importance of a culture in which Veterinary professionals feel ‘safe’ to take a break. A break offers a crucial opportunity to identify aspects of wellbeing, however it requires commitment from the entire team to ensure breaks are taken fairly, without risk to patient safety.
The VetLed HALT Campaign Support Pack is now available
The HALT Campaign Support Pack includes:
- Welcome letter
- HALT Campaign Briefing Guide
- HALT Campaign PPT presentation including notes to support you to launch HALT in your practice
- Two HALT posters for you to display
This HALT Campaign Support Pack is intended to provide you with what you need to promote HALT in a safe, applicable and effective way in your practice. Every practice is different so please ensure you fully consider how to make this campaign work for you in a safe and effective way. Before you launch the HALT campaign in your practice, we do ask the ‘important information’ section within the HALT Campaign Briefing Guide is read by the practice manager, lead vet or nurse, or equivalent position.
If at any stage you would like any further advice or assistance, please get in touch.
To download your HALT Campaign Support Pack materials, please click on the links below
This campaign is a part of VetLed’s ongoing mission to support safe, efficient and effective veterinary care. If you have any questions about VetLed and our work then please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!