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Taking Care of the Carers?

How NHS bodies supported staff wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

NHS staff have shown tremendous resilience and dedication throughout the pandemic, despite facing huge strains to their mental and physical health.

Our report looks at how NHS bodies have supported staff wellbeing during the pandemic, focusing particularly on the arrangements they have put in place to safeguard staff at higher risk from COVID-19.

This report is the second of two publications which highlight COVID-19 related themes from our Structured Assessment work at NHS bodies, identifying future opportunities and sharing learning. The first report – Doing it differently, doing it right? - describes how NHS bodies revised their arrangements to enable them to govern in a lean, agile, and rigorous manner during the pandemic.

What we found

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of staff wellbeing.


NHS bodies have prioritised staff wellbeing during the pandemic, but now need to ensure the support is ongoing and easily accessible.

Some of the actions implemented by NHS bodies to improve staff wellbeing included:

  • Creating dedicated rest spaces
  • Increasing health and psychological provision
  • Enhancing infection and prevention control measures

Our review also found that, alongside other safeguarding initiatives for staff at higher risk of COVID-19, all bodies introduced and promoted the use of the All-Wales COVID-19 Workforce Risk Assessment Tool. However, completion rates across bodies varied.

Our review also looks at how NHS bodies now have an opportunity to redesign their approach to staff wellbeing. Our report is accompanied by a checklist for NHS Board members which sets out some of the questions they should be asking to ensure their health bodies have good arrangements in place to support staff wellbeing.

Related News

NHS bodies in Wales prioritised staff wellbeing during the pandemic, but longer-term challenges remain
Doing it Differently, Doing it Right?


Checklist for NHS Board Members

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