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July 2020

Survey measures negative impact of COVID-19 on mental health

Preliminary findings of a survey to measure impact of COVID-19 confirm the pandemic is having a damaging effect on the mental health of the NHS workforce.

A quarter of respondents to the Skills for Health survey predict their organisations will face staff and skills shortages as increasing pressures cause key staff to resign or take early retirement.

Almost 1,500 staff and employers from across the front-line NHS, and health and care workforce, have contributed to the survey - which closes on Friday 3 July 2020 - on how the pandemic has impacted their work.

Preliminary results show:

  • More than half of respondents say the pandemic has had a negative effect on staff mental health.
  • The vast majority reported an increase in training needs due to large numbers of new staff, as well as redeployed existing staff, on topics including use of PPE and infection prevention and control; how to use IT equipment to work remotely; coping with change; and health and well-being.
  • A quarter of respondents predicted their organisation would lose skills or talent as a result of the pandemic through: colleagues who have died from COVID-19; others suffering long-term illness, leaving unfilled vacancies; increased pressure causing key staff to resign or take early retirement.
  • The strain on services point to a need for recruitment to increase over the next 6 months: roles required include medical support workers, HCAs, phlebotomists, nurses/nursing associates, GPs, ICU, bank staff.