The UK is facing serious challenges about how an already overstretched workforce will cope during the pandemic within the emergency care settings. This pressure can lead to substantial effects on the mental health of staff. Therefore, we need to evaluate how we will appropriately support staff in the UK, but we do not know what the best approach is.
ED staff regularly deal with emergencies and unpredictable, often traumatic, situations. As a result, ED staff are more likely to experience mental health problems such as anxiety, stress, secondary traumatic stress and are more likely to feel “burnout” than staff in other areas of healthcare. They are also less likely to access appropriate support. It is therefore paramount that we consider the wellbeing of this staff group during a uniquely challenging time such as that of the COVID 19 outbreak.
Therefore, the Pan-ED study will be administering a wellbeing questionnaire to ED staff in the preparation, peak and resolution phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ED staff are a multi-disciplined team involving nurses, doctors, radiographers, domestics and administrative staff members, and all will be invited to participate in the study. By completing this study, we aim to have a better understanding of how to support these staff and prepare for potential future pandemics.