Civil Service Awards honour for programme developed by Bury St Edmunds-based RehabWorks for CPS

A posed picture, using a model, of an interview with a rape victim.
Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A posed picture, using a model, of an interview with a rape victim. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has been recognised at a national public sector awards ceremony for a training programme developed in partnership with a company based in Suffolk.

Tom Bivins, preventative services lead at RehabWorks.

Tom Bivins, preventative services lead at RehabWorks. - Credit: Archant

RehabWorks, which specialises in injury management and preventative as well as rehabilitation, was approached by the CPS to develop a workshop programme for staff who may face mental health issues as a result of their involvement in dealing with cases of serious sexual assault.

Around 180 sessions for up to eight CPS employees at a time have now been held, resulting in the CPS picking up the trophy for Health and WellBeing at the 2017 Civil Service Awards.

Tom Bivins, preventative services lead at RehabWorks, which is based in Bury St Edmunds, said: “The brief around this course was, by its very nature, extremely specific, and we were mindful of the sensitivities involved.

“We have considerable experience in developing training for people who have challenging professional environments and working closely with our customers to help identify the right solution for them is always a key element.

“In this case we worked very closely with the CPS team to capture all the likely repercussions and consequences of being at the coal face of more extreme crimes.”

Under a “follow-on” process, CPS staff attending a workshop are contacted again after six weeks and offered a refresher session after 12 months.

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Mr Bivins added: “We have consistently received outstanding feedback from delegates on the training course, and we know it has made a significant difference to the way in which the staff have been able to process, and cope with, the scenarios they are dealing with every day.

“It is as a result of the client implementing this training that their approach to staff health and wellbeing has now been recognised at the highest level within their sector and we are enormously proud to have contributed to that.”

RehabWorks, which has eight other centres around the country in addition to its head office on Angle Hill in Bury, is now developing similar workshops for other so-called “‘blue light” professionals.

“It stands to reason that, just like we’ve seen with the CPS staff, other emergency service professionals are at risk of mental health and wellbeing issues because of things they have to contend with on a daily basis,” said Mr Bivins.

“It can never be underestimated just how important it is to respect the individual employee and to truly understand how they may personally be affected by what they see and experience in their daily professional life.”