44% of respondents are not confident in their hospital’s ability to provide planned surgery safely while managing COVID-19 demand during future surges.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) have, to some extent during the last month, suffered mental distress because of additional work related stress due to COVID-19.
Nearly nine in ten trainees (89%) strongly agree that the pandemic is affecting their training opportunities, career and professional development.
NHS Improvement should publish a new People Plan, with the investment and teeth needed to support staff welfare and wellbeing, build resilience and address inequality.
NHS Improvement should identify, train and maintain the skills of cross-specialty ‘reservists’ who can support COVID-19 surges, and escalation plans should rapidly be made, with the support of the Medical Royal Colleges.
The Government should make a commitment to additional, and sustainable, investment in the resources, facilities and staff needed to support a return to pre-COVID-19 activity.
Hospitals and trusts may need to cohort specialist surgery on a regional basis; and there is merit in a ‘clean hospital’ approach. Other locations for managing planned surgery or COVID-19 care should be considered, with sufficient resources that are separate from those within the NHS.
Efforts should be made to support hospitals in ensuring that sufficient numbers of anaesthetic, theatre, perioperative care and ward staff are free to return to their routine work activities.
A transparent, flexible, approach to re-scheduling assessments and teaching should be developed, with clear guidance on how missed learning opportunities will be delivered.