Around 40% of NHS staff reported feeling anxious during the recent coronavirus surge, but results were 10 percentage points worse for minority ethnic workers, according to NHS England’s surveys.
Prerana Issar, NHSE chief people officer, highlighted national data from the health service’s ‘people pulse’ survey during a Commons health and social care committee hearing.
The survey was launched last July to help gauge how the health service’s workforce was coping with the pressures of the pandemic, asking questions such as whether they felt supported, motivated, or anxious and what made the biggest difference to their experience at work. It involves findings from 114 local NHS organisations.
Ms Issar said the percentage of staff who reported they were feeling supported “was at a high of 68% during the first few months and started dipping from November onwards to 62%. It is still at 62%”.
Meanwhile, the share of those “feeling anxious” was at a “low” of 29% during the summer and autumn but has since increased to 40%.
The 40% finding may seem surprisingly low to many, considering the enormous impact of the winter surge of coronavirus demand, the very widespread extra asks of staff, potential health risks, and redeployment of roles.
Ms Issar added: “We have seen ‘feeling supported’ come down a little bit and ‘feeling anxious’ go up, and we used that feedback to then augment our offer and communication.”
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Source: HSJ, 24 February 2021