Pilot wellbeing therapy treatment reduces stress in NHS

UCLan experts assess effectiveness of YOLO Wellbeing Ltd piloted by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

Experts from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have found that a therapeutic wellbeing treatment piloted by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) reduced the stress levels of participants by almost a quarter.

Lancashire based YOLO Wellbeing Ltd, a multi award-winning health and wellness business, spent six months visiting the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on a monthly basis offering staff from the Emergency Department a unique form of therapy that incorporates massage and meditation. In total, they delivered 290 sessions.

The accredited therapy, designed specifically for the workplace, targets the nervous, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems to effectively, and quickly, reduce physical and mental stress. Techniques include acupressure, tactile, fascia stretching, myofascial release, mobilisation and trigger pointing, which is combined with guided breathing, YIN yoga stretching and visualisation.



A total 42 people accessed the service and received up to four 15 minute sessions. Using the Maslach burnout inventory (MBI) to monitor levels of occupational exhaustion, UCLan researchers from the School of Health, Social Work and Sport found that 54.76% of participants reported feeling stressed, tired, burnt out, and/or exhausted before treatment and 79.17% reported they felt more energised, relaxed, less stressed and re-charged post treatment.

Feedback also showed that participants felt like their mood and stress levels improved after even one treatment.

Lead researcher Dr April Melia said: “Our assessment shows that YOLO Experience Therapy provides improvements in mental health status, mood, energy levels, and a reduction in stress, anxiety and feelings of burnout.”

A 100% of respondents felt their mood improved. 95% said their energy levels improved and 95% of those who said they were experiencing stress said it was lower. In addition, 99% of staff who responded felt their performance improved, with 57% saying it had ‘improved ‘a lot’.

“YOLO is delivered in a relatively short treatment session when compared to other treatments, therefore it is a more realistic timescale for staff leaving their workplace without significant disruption to the rest of the department.”

The Managing Director of YOLO Wellbeing Ltd, Cheryle Britton, enlisted the help of UCLan via the Lancashire Health Matters Programme, a collaborative project funded by ERDF involving the University and the Innovation Agency, to seek a real-world validation assessment of the impact of workplace intervention to reduce stress and burnout in NHS critical care staff.

Rebecca Mellard, Occupational Health and Wellbeing Officer at UHMBT, said: “Colleagues at UHMBT found the YOLO Wellbeing treatment a really positive experience, many wished that they could make it a weekly session as they felt relaxed, at ease and the tension lift straight away.

“Cheryle and her team were very knowledgeable and made sure the sessions were tailor made to the colleagues needs.”

Caron Graham, Deputy Associate Director of Nursing (Medicine) and Patient Flow Matron at the Trust, added: “It was really beneficial for colleagues to have time set aside to support their well-being – and all the feedback we received was very positive towards YOLO.”

Cheryle said: “We’re thrilled with the results of the trial. They provide a strong case to support NHS Staff at a time when shortages, absence and morale are key challenges for the service.”

A copy of the real-world validation assessment is available to download


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