NHS Charities Together’s recent You Gov research shows three quarters (75%) of the public feel grateful to the NHS for what it has done during the pandemic and 67% are proud of how frontline workers have coped with the pandemic so far.  No one can be in any doubt that NHS staff have been there for us over the last year, at the frontline of the battle against Covid and the beating heart of the NHS.

But that same research shows the huge ongoing impact of Covid-19, with over half staff reporting an impact on their mental health, anxiety, depression and even post traumatic stress. As services begin to open up staff are facing very busy clinics and backlog of people waiting to be treated.

While the NHS has been doing an amazing job tackling the pandemic, there is always more that can be done to help support NHS staff, particularly at the most challenging time in the history of the NHS.

“I don’t think we could have done all that we have without the support of the public. There was a tonne of support, especially during the first wave.”

Darren Barthorpe, Occupational Therapist Technician and Physio

NHS Charities Together’s funds are already making a different the length and breadth of the UK. Last year we funded over 400 projects for staff, from providing practical support so that they can continue with their vital work to looking after their emotional health with funding for helplines, counselling and peer to peer support. We need to be there for them, both now and in the long-term.

With the help of funding from NHS Charities Together to Chesterfield Royal Charity, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is providing additional support for the physical and mental wellbeing of staff.

Staff across the Trust have seen and felt the impact of the pandemic on wellbeing. Angela Rimington, COVID-19 Swabbing Clinical Administration Officer at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

Angela Rimington, COVID-19 Swabbing Clinical Administration Officer

“Staff are seeing really poorly patients and also experiencing the distress of patients’ relatives being unable to visit them. None of us have experienced it before. You feel other people’s grief on a daily basis.

“There’s also a personal impact because staff have their own families that they are coming home to after working in an environment where there’s more risk. They have to go home to their family knowing that there’s a possibility they could pass it on. Some have family members with COVID-19 who they won’t be able to visit either.

Darren Barthorpe, Occupational Therapist Technician and Physio

“It’s been challenging for all staff, including background staff. So much has happened over the past year with regards to how we operate as a Trust and until you actually stop and think about what we have been through, you don’t realise how much of an effect it has had on you. I don’t know how staff on the immediate frontline have coped – they are truly amazing.”

The uncertainty and concern of another possible wave is also a worry for staff. Darren Barthorpe, Occupational Therapist Technician and Physio, Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Staff are reeling from the impact. You don’t stop thinking about people you’ve cared for, and their families, and you get very emotional.”

He added: “I don’t think we could have done all that we have without the support of the public. There was a tonne of support, especially during the first wave. We did see that disappear a bit in the second wave, and staff felt lonelier as a result.”