As nurses and midwives, we understand the importance of health and wellbeing to those we care for. But sometimes, we put our own health and wellbeing last. No matter what stressors we face in life, we need to make health, wellbeing and self-care a priority. The information on this page is designed to support this.

We offer a number of initiatives to promote health and wellbeing, including:

  • onsite staff gyms at Footscray and Sunshine hospitals
  • discounted health and fitness memberships through Fitness Passport
  • the Western Health BUG (Bicycle Users Group) and secure bike storage facilities

We recognise both the excellence and challenges in our workplace through:

  • our Inspire awards to acknowledge staff who foster a positive workplace and our values of compassion, accountability, respect, excellence and safety
  • our annual Nursing & Midwifery Excellence Awards, that are bestowed on recipients
  • our academic and educational nursing and midwifery awards that are bestowed annually to recognise excellence in our staff that are pursuing further learning
  • our EMPOWIR process to raise concerns about workplace behaviour

Details of Wellbeing and Support initiatives and detailed information and resources are outlined on the COVID microsite. This includes information on:

  • caring for yourself
  • caring for others
  • accessing personal and professional support
  • family violence during COVID
  • Helpful apps and resources
  • Wellbeing videos
  • Wellbeing Wednesdays
  • Wellbeing hubs and breakout spaces

Because we’re all human and sometimes we all need an extra hand, some free and confidential services available to our nurses are midwives are also outlined below:


COVID Crisis wellbeing initiatives

  • COVID Workforce Recovery Plan

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, like other public health services, Western Health implemented surge models of care in response to unprecedented demand coupled with high numbers of furloughed staff and personal leave especially through the Delta and Omicron waves.

    Western Health developed a Workforce Surge Plan in 2020, and had worked over an extended period of time through that year to prepare our staff for the potential impact of a surge. We proactively worked with our teams to educate them, up-skill and ready our teams in case this occurred. When the Department of Health released the COVID-19 acute care surge workforce delivery models there were strong synergies with the Western Health plan, and we adapted our plan to ensure alignment.

    Melbourne’s West has been particularly hard hit by COVID in 2020 and 2021, and Western Health has been at the forefront with large COVID demand being managed by our teams. We have also supported large numbers of outbreaks in external locations including Residential Aged Care Facilities. Western Health has also had the added responsibilities of being a Local Public Health Unit and the COVID Vaccination Hub lead for the western metropolitan region.

    Western Health has recognised that our clinical and non-clinical staff across all settings have been under extreme pressure, and proactive strategies have been put in place throughout the entire period to ensure that we care for our staff, so that they are retained as much as possible as we emerge from this difficult period. The wellbeing and safety of our staff is a core priority for Western Health, and this priority has been at the forefront of all our decisions since COVID emerged in 2019 and we commenced our own planning in late January 2020.

    Whilst COVID related pressure on health services may reduce, there is always pressures in healthcare on the workforce and the return to ‘business as normal’ will bring with it new challenges.

    Western Health is a rapidly growing heath service and proactive workforce management, maintaining a positive workplace culture and ensuring we are an employer of choice is central to us delivering high quality health services in an environment where our services are expected to almost double in size over the coming 6 years.

    Western Health has been deliberate in our strategies and forward planning which have held us in good stead for our staff and services to emerge from COVID peak in a healthy position.

    Western Health has developed a Workforce Recovery Plan which outlines a concise synopsis of the strategies that the health service has in place to support the recovery of our people. Western Health will continue to adapt and evolve our strategies, and where helpful will take on board ideas from the Department of Health and other services.

  • COVID Crisis Fatigue Management

    Managing staff fatigue:

    Our nurses and midwives are so busy, but preventing and managing staff fatigue is one of the key risks that we all need to have at the forefront of our minds at the moment.

    Enhancing Rostering project:

    This year Wendy Watson (Deputy EDONM) will be leading a project to implement our Employee-centered Rostering to enhance our ability to have great rosters for our nurses and midwives, informed by the latest evidence in rostering practices that enhance wellness, sleep and work-life balance.

Helpful Contacts

  • Employee Assistance Program

    Western Health’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all Western Health staff, volunteers and their families to provide free professional support and assistance.

    It can be accessed by phoning 1800 099 444 – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    EAP can be used for getting assistance in managing a wide range or work related or family and personal issues that are affecting work performance or general well being.

  • Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria

    The Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria (NMHPV) is available to Victorian nurses, midwives and students to access free support and assistance.

    The NMHPV is an independent and confidential support service for individual nurses, midwives and students experiencing health issues related to their mental health, substance use, family violence concerns and any other issue they need support for.

    In addition, NMHPV supports health service leadership, managers and people & culture personnel requiring information, advice and support for matters related to nurses and midwives experiencing any health or wellbeing concern.

    WATCH NOW  If you have ever wondered what NMHPV offers, this webinar will answer your questions

    If you need support, please call 9415 7551 between 8.30am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday or email admin@nmhp.org.au or visit www.nmhp.org.au

  • Nurse & Midwife Support

    Nurse & Midwife Support is available 24/7 Australia wide on 1800 667 877 or visit www.nmsupport.org.au

    It’s anonymous, confidential and free for nurses, midwives and students and anyone concerned about the welfare of a nurse or a midwife.

  • Crisis Services

    Please note, none of the above programs are a crisis service. Colleagues with serious and imminent concerns should contact their local service or call 000. In addition, anyone can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.