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Continuing to work through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

12 May 2021

An examination of mental wellbeing, burnout, work-related quality of life and coping across the health and social care workforce.

As lockdown is slowly getting lifted and restrictions begin to ease across the United Kingdom, it is important that our health and social care workforce are fully supported and have access to appropriate services and resources.

The COVID-19 pandemic have seen many health and social care services become overwhelmed, particularly social workers who have seen a change to risk management and working practices, and an increase in referrals as the crises continues.  Social care workers likewise, have experienced rapid change in working practices and risk management procedures, whilst working in a variety of settings, for example day care, nursing care, and people’s own homes.

We are conducting research to explore the health and wellbeing social workers, social care workers, nurses, midwives, Allied Healthcare Professional’s (AHPs), in UK during the Pandemic to formulate recommendations for improvements.

Previous findings

Between the surveys conducted in Phase 1 (May-July 2020) and Phase 2 (Nov 2020-Jan 2021), overall well-being and work-related quality of life decreased across the health and social care workforce during the pandemic.  Findings demonstrated that respondents used more negative coping strategies (e.g. venting, self-blame) to deal with increased work-related stressors in comparison to positive coping strategies (active coping, planning, emotional support).  In Phase 2, a large proportion of respondents experienced moderate- to high levels of personal burnout (74.7%) and work-related burnout (66.3.%).

Recommendations were suggested under three main themes that emerged from the data: Changing conditions, Connections and Communication.  The full reports from the first and second surveys, including the Executive Summaries with Good Practice Guidance can be found on our website  

Current study phase

In the current phase 3 survey (May-July 2021) we will once again examine the quality of working life, mental well-being, burnout and coping of a nurses, midwives, AHPs, social care workers and social workers as they continue to deliver services in the post-pandemic phase.  Our aim is to further explore how these factors have been changed over the last six months as the pandemic has continued and as restrictions begin to ease.  The findings from this study will help provide data which employers can use to make evidence informed, organisational level policy adjustments to support the needs of the workforce during and post pandemic. 

If you’re a social worker, social care worker, nurse, midwife or AHP, who is currently employed (this includes working as an agency/bank worker) or self-employed in the UK during the Covid -19 pandemic then please share your experiences with us by completing a short survey.  Please click on the survey link below or scan the QR code for further information on the study and the questionnaire to complete. This takes around 15 minutes to complete.

Please scan the QR code below or click here to see some further information on the study and a questionnaire which will take 15 minutes to complete.

For more information about this research project, please contact Paula McFadden on or Patricia Gillen on

The research team would like to thank all previous survey respondents and to all organisations across the UK that have promoted and contributed to this study.