Workplace Wellbeing

COVID-19 Health and Social Care Workforce Study May-July 2020

Dr Paula McFadden1, Dr Patricia Gillen1,2, Dr John Moriarty3, Dr John Mallett1, Dr Heike Schroder 3, Dr Jermaine Ravalier 4, Professor Jill Manthorpe 5, Dr Jaclyn Harron6, Dr Denise Currie3

Ulster University1, Southern Health and Social Care Trust2, Queen’s University Belfast3, King’s College London4, Bath Spa University5, Independent Researcher6


The ‘Health and Social Care Workers’ Quality of Working Life and Coping while Working During a COVID-19 Pandemic: A three phase study’ is a piece of research we are conducting to explore the emotional impact of working on the frontline, including how workers cope and what lessons can be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The results from the Phase 1 survey (May – Jul 2020), which received 3,290 responses from nurses, midwives, allied health professionals (AHPs), social care workers and social workers working in health and social care in the UK revealed that a total of 42% of all respondents were likely or possibly suffering from depression and/or anxiety.

In terms of work-related quality of life, we found some differences across countries, with respondents from Wales reporting the highest overall work-related quality of life. Additionally, we found that staff with higher wellbeing and better work-related quality of life were using positive coping strategies, including active coping, emotional support, work family segmentation and relaxation, whereas those with lower wellbeing and lower work-related quality of life were more likely to use negative coping strategies.

An overview of the findings from the Phase 1 survey with Good Practice Recommendations can be found here. Full report is available here. If you would like to see the full report and/or further information about the research, please contact Paula McFadden on p.mcfadden@ulster.ac.uk or Patricia Gillen on p.gillen@ulster.ac.uk.

In the current Phase 2 survey (Nov 2020 – Jan 2021), we are again examining the quality of working life, social and emotional wellbeing and methods of coping in the nurses, midwives, AHPs, social care workers and social workers who are working in the UK during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Our aim is to see if there have been any changes in these domains over the last six months, as the Pandemic has progressed. The responses to the survey will help inform employers and policy makers about what the workforce needs to cope during a Pandemic.