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One in five healthcare workers could quit post-Covid-19

22nd May 2020
One in five healthcare workers could quit post-Covid-19

(Credit: Pxfuel/Commons)

Nadine Osman

A leading think tank has warned that one in five healthcare workers in the UK could quit after the pandemic unless urgent Government action is taken.

A major poll released on April 23, by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) of almost 1,000 healthcare professionals reveals that Covid-19 has made more than one in five healthcare workers more likely to leave their role after the pandemic.

In the NHS in England, this would be the equivalent of losing 300,000 vital workers. IPPR warns that if urgent action is not taken, healthcare capacity could be impacted for years after the end of the Covid-19 crisis.

The polling informs a new IPPR report Care Fit For Carers – which proposes a comprehensive support package for frontline ‘heroes of the Coronavirus’, with the same ambition as the post-WWI drive to deliver ‘homes fit for heroes.’

The polling reveals that healthcare professionals have significant and diverse needs, which are not being supported properly during the Covid-19 crisis. Half of the healthcare workers said their mental health had deteriorated since the Covid-19 crisis began.

Mental health impact was greatest on younger workers (34 & under) – whereas many as 71% said their mental health had deteriorated. As many as one in three reported that their physical health has got worse since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. Half of the healthcare workers said the Government had not done enough to protect their families’ health.

Of those aged 35 to 44 (the age group most likely to have children) 34% said childcare had become a problem. One-third of those working in private sector roles in the health service – eg – agency workers and subcontractors – said that they had lost job security during the Covid-19 crisis. Care Fit for Carers calls for safety, accommodation, mental health, pay and care guarantees for carers.

“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,” said Lead author of the report Chris Thomas.

Prof Martin Green, CEO of Care England, said, “An important legacy of this crisis must be securing the status of social care as one equal to the NHS. Never again must social care be the underdog. Social care must retain its rightful status which will, therefore, necessitate adequate resourcing, funding and status.”

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