Coronavirus: Around 1 in 5 NHS staff more likely to quit over stress of pandemic, says new report

Joe GampContributor, Yahoo News UK
Yahoo News UK
NHS staff are more likely to quit during the coronavirus crisis due to the pressure of working on the frontline. PA)
NHS staff are more likely to quit during the coronavirus crisis due to the pressure of working on the frontline. PA)

NHS staff are more likely to quit during the coronavirus crisis due to the pressure of working on the frontline, according to a new report.

A survey from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) thinktank and YouGov shows around 300,000 NHS keyworkers are considering leaving the service due to a strain on their mental and physical health.

The poll, which surveyed nearly 1,000 staff, showed 1 in 5 healthcare workers would leave their roles after the outbreak. The NHS currently employs around 1.5m workers.

Results showed around 1 in 3 reported that their physical health has worsened during the crisis.

The results of the survey have formed a new guideline report called Care Fit For Carers, demanding five support packages for NHS staff. (AP)
The results of the survey have formed a new guideline report called Care Fit For Carers, demanding five support packages for NHS staff. (AP)

Mental health impact was greatest on younger workers aged 18 to 34, with 71% saying their mental health had deteriorated.

Nearly half of all those surveyed said their mental health had worsened during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Shortages of PPE for NHS staff and care workers have been an ongoing issue throughout the coronavirus crisis, prompting criticism of the government.

There have been widely-reported delays in deliveries of equipment, while one promised consignment of PPE from Turkey reportedly only included half of what was expected.

There have also been numerous reports of a lack of COVID-19 testing for NHS staff and frontline keyworkers.

On Friday morning, the Government’s new online testing portal crashed, just 12 hours after the health secretary announced it would be able to cope with the demand.

There is also just 1,000 home testing kits ready to send out, with the Department of Health apologising for “the inconvenience caused”.

There have also been numerous reports of a lack of COVID-19 testing for NHS staff and frontline keyworkers. (AP)
There have also been numerous reports of a lack of COVID-19 testing for NHS staff and frontline keyworkers. (AP)

The results of the survey have formed a new guideline report called Care Fit For Carers, which proposes a comprehensive support package for the “heroes of the coronavirus”.

The new guidelines ask for five guarantees on safety, accommodation, mental health, pay and care for frontline workers.

Lead author and IPPR health researcher Chris Thomas said of the figures: "Care Fit for Carers is about giving the heroes of the coronavirus pandemic the protection, support and security they need. 

“No one should have to put their health at risk because PPE is lacking.

“No one should face a mental health crisis because no support was there. And no one should face financial destitution while delivering our crisis response.”

The report has also recommended a new bank holiday to celebrate both health and care workers.

Staff put a sign on the windshield in support of the NHS at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne, to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Staff put a sign on the windshield in support of the NHS at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne, to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

It also suggested giving NHS staff a 10% bonus, that could be worth up to £3,000 for a newly qualified nurse.

Thomas said: “Our care heroes are making significant sacrifices to pull our country through this crisis.

“It is imperative the government does not allow their efforts to become a modern Charge of the Light Brigade.”

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