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Covid-19 Impact on Nursing and Midwifery - 'significant' levels of distress among workforce

A new Impact of Covid-19 on the Nursing and Midwifery workforce (ICON) survey reveals "extremely concerning" levels of psychological distress among the Nursing and Midwifery workforce, as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The survey was carried out during the first wave, with thousands of UK nursing and midwifery staff participating in the poll. 

The research is basd on two surveys conducted between April-May 2020, and July-August 2020, and shows that "significant" proportion of the workforce has probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Stress levels were reported to be "severe and extremely severe",  with a slight decline in the second survey. Reported "sever and extremely severe" anxiety levels also slightly declined from 25% in the first survey, to 18% in the final survey. 

Analysis of the results also reports that more than a third of respondents experienced Covid-19, with the "most commonly identified source of infection", in 69.5% of cases was the clinicsl workplace. 

“Our findings should drive healthcare employers throughout the world to address shortcomings in their organisational response to Covid-19”

Ruth Harris

Key Findings:

  • Almost 17.5% of respondents reported sever or extreme stress, three-months after the first peak of the pandemic
  • Lack of adequate training was reported by 2% of redeployed staff
  • Lack of confidence in infection prevention and control training was reported in 40% of staff
  • Lack of correct personal protective equipment was reported among 6% of staff 
  • Despite the prevalence of psychological issues decreasing from the first peak, a significant proportion of staff still continute to experience negative psychological effects 


To read the full ICON report, visit the RCN Research Society.

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