Concerns of nurses and midwives during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • University of Cardiff
  • 21 Apr 2020

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • UK Medical News
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A recent survey conducted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) in collaboration with Cardiff University, King’s College London, University of Warwick, University of Plymouth, Nottingham University, University of Surrey and St Bartholomew’s Hospital highlights the concerns of the nursing and midwifery staff in the UK during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The first survey carried out during 2-14 April 2020 was completed by 2600 respondents, and the results were released on 21 April 2020. Two more surveys will follow soon.

Key findings from the survey are as follows:

  • Seventy-four per cent of respondents believed their health was at risk during the pandemic owing to their clinical role.
  • Ninety-two per cent of respondents had concerns about the risks to their family members because of their role.
  • Thirty-three per cent of respondents reported a range of mental health issues, including severe or extremely severe depression, anxiety or stress.
  • Among those being redeployed within the NHS, 62 per cent reported receiving no or inadequate training.
  • Fifty-two per cent of respondents reported working more than their contracted hours on their last shift. Two thirds of the respondents will not receive payment for their additional work.
  • Twenty-five per cent of respondents did not agree that appropriate personal protective equipment was always available, and 44 per cent agreed that it was available.
  • Fifty-two per cent of respondents said they were not confident about the COVID-19 infection control and prevention training that they had received or said that they had not received training at all.
  • Twenty-six per cent of respondents reported the need to self-isolate, of which 37 per cent were asymptomatic and 64 per cent missed four or more shifts because of self-isolation.

Professor Daniel Kelly, RCN Chair of Nursing Research, said: "This is a situation that must be addressed by providing testing, safety equipment and support in all settings where nurses and midwives are working with great goodwill and bravery."