Stressed mental health workers put chairs to test

A mental health trust is to trial �5,000 massage chairs to help de-stress its staff at Helledson Hospital.

The state-of-the-art chairs can also be used to help people lose weight or quit smoking by listening to tapes at the same time.

Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust says it has negotiated a free one-year loan of one of the chairs.

However the manufacturer says it will deliver eight to 10, so the trust can see if it improves staff wellbeing at Hellesdon Hospital, in Norwich, where the trust's headquarters is based.

The Miruji wellbeing chairs massage users and combine an audio programme, which can be used to help people lose weight or quit smoking.

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The trust has not yet taken delivery of any of the chairs, but expects the trial to begin in December.

Members of staff have volunteered to take part and they will be monitored throughout to see if they experience any visible or tangible benefits.

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Leigh Fleming, commercial director at Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'This new and exciting venture is part of our ongoing commitment to staff welfare at Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

'We have negotiated a free trial and loan of the massage chair for one year to see if its use can improve staff wellbeing. The chair works by using relaxation combined with listening to tapes designed to help to de-stress and possibly assist with weight loss.'

The trial comes at a time when mental health workers have been protesting against the government cuts, citing fears that increased demand and the strain on resources could hit both users and staff.

The makers of the wellbeing chair claim the cutting-edge audio uses Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to deliver an experience that channels the mind and increases the chances of success.

Mind coach Tianne Crowshaw has put together a series of sessions which are designed to channel and refocus the mind into achieving the required weight loss targets.

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