Between 30 June and 5 July 2020, the Royal College of Anaesthetists conducted a survey to assess its members' views on the current preparedness to restart planned services.
The results found that doctors are not confident their hospitals would cope with a second COVID-19 surge and that more anaesthetists are suffering mental distress than ever before as morale drops.
- 44% of respondents were not confident their hospitals would be able to provide safe COVID and non-COVID services should there be a second surge of infections.
- Over one third (38%) of respondents also cited low or non-existent rapid testing for staff at their hospitals and one-in-five (20%) said there are currently insufficient infection prevention and control measures to prevent staff from infecting surgical patients with COVID-19.
Results also highlighted the increasing trend in mental distress amongst anaesthetists and the disruption to the training opportunities for anaesthetists in training:
- nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) have, to some extent during the past month, suffered mental distress due to the pressures faced during the COVID-19 pandemic
- over one-third of respondents (34%) reported a low or very low level of team morale, compared with nearly one-in-five (21%) in May
- nearly nine-in-ten trainees (89%) strongly agree that the pandemic is affecting their training opportunities, career and professional development.