FUTURISTIC pods have been installed at the John Radcliffe Hospital so A&E staff can take a well-deserved power nap at work.

They were initially on loan to the trust for a trial and used throughout the peak of coronavirus pandemic but have proven such a hit with staff Oxford Hospitals Charity agreed to buy them for permanent use.

Two of the pods and a relaxation chair are at the John Radcliffe, while Banbury’s Horton General Hospital has a chair installed.

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Professor Meghana Pandit, chief medical officer at the trust, said: “Supporting staff health and wellbeing is a trust priority, and these facilities support our teams by helping them stay rested and be able to continue providing excellent care to our patients.”

The ‘EnergyPod’ is specifically designed for power napping, enabling staff to rest for a limited, specified amount of time.

Space-age in style, it features a bed beneath an adjustable privacy visor and, once activated, the pod uses soft lighting and soothing music to help the user relax.

Oxford Mail:

Fiona Warren, Occupational Health Manager; Anna Hinton, Health and Wellbeing Promotion Specialist; Douglas Graham, chief executive of Oxford Hospitals Charity; Katy Mimpress, matron of the JR's A&E. Picture: OUH

The comfortable, recliner-like chairs, meanwhile, provide staff another option to grab some rest and relax.

Katy Mimpress, matron of the John Radcliffe’s Emergency Department, who has tried out the pods, said: “These pods and chairs will make such a positive difference to the Emergency Department teams, as they continue their hard work beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The opportunity to fully relax and recover during breaks and after shifts impacts not only on staff, but also on patients, as we are able to return to patient care refreshed and re-energised.”

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She said they are the ‘perfect space’ for staff to decompress, which has been particularly important during the pandemic.

Anna Hinton, health and wellbeing promotion specialist at the trust, said: “The pods we’ve had on trial have been so well received by staff throughout the pandemic. They are shown to increase alertness and reduce stress which is beneficial for both our staff and our patients. “

She added: “Feedback has been extremely positive, with staff describing the facilities as ‘game changing’ and important to their wellbeing.

Oxford Mail:

Rest pod at the John Radcliffe Hospital

“It is so heart-warming to know that something sustainable and beneficial for our hard-working frontline staff has emerged from these difficult times.”

Costing £32,000, the rest pods and chairs were funded entirely by Oxford Hospitals Charity, thanks to donations from NHS Charities Together and a generous local donor.

Chief executive Douglas Graham said: “We are delighted to fund this innovative equipment which will make such a difference to staff working long and intense shifts in the Emergency Departments.

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“There is a wealth of evidence to show that a brief proper rest can revitalise the brain, especially for those working throughout the night.

"So we are incredibly grateful to our donors who have helped us make this exciting support possible.”