Nearly eight in ten NHS workers say their workplaces remain disrupted as a result of COVID-19

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
September 01, 2021, 2:01 PM UTC

A third of staff say the quality of patient care is still suffering

The number of positive COVID-19 cases since the end of pandemic restrictions on July 19th has been on par with the second wave that occurred in early 2021. Yet, government data shows that hospital admissions are only around a fifth of those seen earlier in the year, thanks to the success of the vaccine rollout. However, despite admissions being low, the latest YouGov survey of NHS staff reveals most are still feeling the effects of the pandemic in the workplace.

Approaching eight in ten NHS workers (79%) say their services continue to be disrupted by the pandemic – this includes 27% who say services are still heavily disrupted and 2% who say services are not running at all.  

This does, however, represent a significant improvement from our previous survey in January, even if there is still disruption. That 27% saying services are “heavily” disrupted is down 21pts from 48% at the beginning of the year. For the most part, assessments have shifted to saying that services are now “somewhat” disrupted (up from 34% to 50%), although some 11% of staff now say services are no longer disrupted (up from 3%).

Current disruption due to COVID-19 is reported by 88% of staff in GP surgeries, 83% of staff in mental health practices, and 80% of workers in regular hospitals.

Patient care remains affected, say a third of NHS staff

Further to this disruption, a third of NHS workers (33%) also report that the quality of patient care has fallen compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic – although this has dropped from 40% who said the same in January 2021.

Approximately half of NHS workers (49%) now say care is at the same level as before the pandemic, up from 42% in January. Another 7% of workers say care has improved in their workplace since March 2020.  

See full results for October here, January here, and August here