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ICU staff in the running for wellbeing award

20 June 2019

ICU staff members who are part of the Calorie Crunchers group

It started out as a ‘crazy’ idea at 3am during a night shift in the intensive care unit…

Sick and tired of feeling overweight and unhealthy, staff grade nurses in the department vowed to get fit in the New Year. Little did they think their early morning pipedream would come to fruition, but six months later, 18 staff members have lost a total of 20.8 stone between them.

And the group – known as the Calorie Crunchers – have now been nominated for Jersey Business’ Leaders in Wellbeing Awards for their commitment to health and exercise. Their new healthy lifestyles have also been credited for a drop in staff sickness this year.

Holly Fisher, staff nurse, said: "We started on 1 January. We had a night shift pre-Christmas and we were all complaining that we were eating rubbish. We were fed-up of not feeling good and moaning about how much weight we had put on. Sick of the moaning, I invented this group at 3am."

The team began exercising together – even before and after their 12-hour shifts, ditched the junk food and started eating healthy alternatives. And as an incentive to keep everyone on track, the group pay £2 a week into a pot with the person who has lost the biggest percentage in weight being awarded £50.

"We didn’t think the group would last," staff nurse Karen Hollyhock, who has lost 2.8 stone, said. "It was a crazy notion at 3 in the morning. We are so proud of each other – I can’t believe how well we’ve done. We have such a laugh together and people have bonded with colleagues they didn’t think they had much in common with."

Staff nurse Elaine Wharton, who has lost 3.7 stone, added: "On weigh day there is real excitement but if someone has had a bad week, it’s not judgmental. The weight is not the issue, it’s the way we feel and the health aspect. It’s about eating well and exercising. It’s more about lifestyle rather than figures of how much we’ve lost."

The team were nominated by ICU Clinical Manager Sam North under the Ambassador in Wellness category in the awards, which celebrate organisations which make health and wellbeing a priority within the workplace.

Sam said: "I’m so proud of them. Nurses give so much to so many people and so have little time for themselves. However, by making themselves a priority they are healthier and working better as a team which is great for the patients."

The awards are due to be held at the Pomme d’Or Hotel between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on Friday 28 June.

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