COVID-19 and the health and care workforce: supporting our greatest asset

Members' views on what's needed to embed a renewed focus on NHS staff wellbeing.

24 September 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been without precedent in the demands it has placed on health and care staff across all settings and disciplines. It has also magnified longstanding problems, the response to which has become more important.

Organisations have focused on the wellbeing of their staff in response to these unique circumstances. This built on long-term practices and programmes but was delivered at a scale that was not achieved before the pandemic.

The challenge for our members now is how to sustain that work, given the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on many of their teams across all settings.

This new report, part of our NHS Reset campaign, sets out what employers in health and care have told us they need from different levels of the system, to enable them to work with local partners to attract, recruit, train, develop, deploy and support their workforce.

The report highlights how the pandemic has brought about a renewed focus on its people, creating a great deal of positive action across the sector to support staff, which now needs to become business as usual. It recognises that our members need to continue to ensure that people are at centre stage of all decision-making and that deep-rooted problems with inequality and discrimination in our workplaces are addressed.

The report calls for action in three priority areas:

  • Workforce inequality
  • Staff experience
  • Workforce supply

It then identifies four practical steps we ask government and national organisations to consider, to help address these priority areas.

Our report also draws on feedback from members to identify best practice and to prioritise further supportive actions for national organisations and government.