National Trauma Training Programme: workforce survey 2021

Main findings from an online survey of the Scottish workforce exploring awareness and attitudes to psychological trauma and trauma-informed practice. The survey was carried out by the Improvement Service as part of the National Trauma Training Programme.

1. Introduction and context

1.1 Research shows that experience of trauma can increase the risk of adverse impacts on people's lives, including experiencing poorer physical and mental health and poorer social, educational and criminal justice outcomes than people who do not experience trauma. COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place to contain the virus have significantly increased the risk of people experiencing trauma and reduced access to social support which is the most effective buffer to support recovery. Many people in the Scottish workforce will have experienced trauma or are at higher risk of experiencing vicarious trauma through their role, particularly during the pandemic where the likelihood of chronic stress and burnout has also increased.

1.2 However, inequality of outcomes for people who have experienced trauma is not inevitable, with a growing evidence-base suggesting that adopting a trauma-informed approach can help improve health, wellbeing and life chances for people affected by trauma. Evidence shows that trauma-informed systems, services and workforces can reduce barriers to accessing support for people affected by trauma, while also supporting the wellbeing of staff themselves. The Scottish Government's ambition, shared with partners across Scotland, is for a trauma-informed and responsive workforce which is capable of recognising where people are affected by trauma and adversity, able to respond in ways that prevent further harm and support recovery, and can address inequalities and improve life chances.

1.3 To help improve understanding of trauma and its impact across the broad Scottish workforce, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) has worked in partnership with the Scottish Government and other key partners to develop Transforming Psychological Trauma: A Knowledge and Skills Framework for the Scottish Workforce (2017). The Trauma Framework highlights the importance of professionals across all areas of Scotland's workforce having a robust understanding of trauma and helps equip professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to respond to people affected by trauma in a high-quality way that reduces the likelihood of further traumatisation and decreases barriers to support services. NES also published the Transforming Psychological Trauma Training Plan (2019), a practical guidance tool for workers, managers and organisations to identify their own trauma training needs with reference to the Trauma Framework.

1.4 The National Trauma Training Programme (NTTP) has developed a suite of training materials for all sectors and levels across the workforce, based on the recognition that everyone has a role in responding to trauma. The NTTP resources range from raising awareness about the scale and impact of trauma through to knowledge and skills training for specialist providers of support for people affected by trauma with complex needs.



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