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The impact of COVID ‐19 on nurses ( ICON ) survey: Nurses' accounts of what would have helped to improve their working lives

The impact of COVID ‐19 on nurses ( ICON ) survey: Nurses' accounts of what would have helped to improve their working lives
The impact of COVID ‐19 on nurses ( ICON ) survey: Nurses' accounts of what would have helped to improve their working lives

Aims: To use nurses' descriptions of what would have improved their working lives during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Design: Analysis of free-text responses from a cross-sectional survey of the UK nursing and midwifery workforce. Methods: Between 2 and 14 April 2020, 3299 nurses and midwives completed an online survey, as part of the ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Nurses’ (ICON) study. 2205 (67%) gave answers to a question asking for the top three things that the government or their employer could do to improve their working lives. Each participants' response was coded using thematic and content analysis. Multiple response analysis quantified the frequency of different issues and themes and examined variation by employer. Results: Most (77%) were employed by the National Health Service (77%) and worked at staff or senior staff nurse levels (55%). 5938 codable responses were generated. Personal protective equipment/staff safety (60.0%), support to workforce (28.6%) and better communication (21.9%) were the most cited themes. Within ‘personal protective equipment’, responses focussed most on available supply. Only 2.8% stated that nothing further could be done. Patterns were similar in both NHS and non-NHS settings. Conclusions: The analysis provided valuable insight into key changes required to improve the work lives of nurses during a pandemic. Urgent improvements in provision and quality of personal protective equipment were needed for the safety of both workforce and patients. Impact: Failure to meet nurses needs to be safe at work appears to have damaged morale in this vital workforce. We identified key strategies that, if implemented by the Government and employers, could have improved the working lives of the nursing and midwifery workforce during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and could prevent the pandemic from having a longer-term negative impact on the retention of this vital workforce. Patient or Public Contribution: No Patient or Public Contribution, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, urgency of the work and the target population being health and social care staff.

COVID-19, content analysis, midwives, morale, nurses, nursing, personal protective equipment, survey, wellbeing, work-lives
0309-2402
343-357
Ball, Jane
85ac7d7a-b21e-42fd-858b-78d263c559c1
Anstee, Sydney
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Couper, Keith
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Maben, Jill
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Blake, Holly
f0966a09-96df-4f8d-9414-e2cb545c47e0
Anderson, Janet E.
e95ae743-4d3f-40da-b525-c53de52171b2
Kelly, Daniel
fc06a1fc-e54e-4dfd-8ab6-2ea79dd64bfb
Harris, Ruth
1e848808-be89-4f63-a62b-41ec65b8c82f
Conolly, Anna
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Ball, Jane
85ac7d7a-b21e-42fd-858b-78d263c559c1
Anstee, Sydney
16f6038e-7583-4c80-9306-255713acfaee
Couper, Keith
6160d1c0-ddae-424c-a51b-cbf1f43f42ac
Maben, Jill
0a1be29c-150f-4a5a-9768-701a1ee6a8d0
Blake, Holly
f0966a09-96df-4f8d-9414-e2cb545c47e0
Anderson, Janet E.
e95ae743-4d3f-40da-b525-c53de52171b2
Kelly, Daniel
fc06a1fc-e54e-4dfd-8ab6-2ea79dd64bfb
Harris, Ruth
1e848808-be89-4f63-a62b-41ec65b8c82f
Conolly, Anna
d27d7d5a-0cd9-4c0c-9000-81040b980421

Ball, Jane, Anstee, Sydney, Couper, Keith, Maben, Jill, Blake, Holly, Anderson, Janet E., Kelly, Daniel, Harris, Ruth and Conolly, Anna (2022) The impact of COVID ‐19 on nurses ( ICON ) survey: Nurses' accounts of what would have helped to improve their working lives. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 79 (1), 343-357. (doi:10.1111/jan.15442).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aims: To use nurses' descriptions of what would have improved their working lives during the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Design: Analysis of free-text responses from a cross-sectional survey of the UK nursing and midwifery workforce. Methods: Between 2 and 14 April 2020, 3299 nurses and midwives completed an online survey, as part of the ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Nurses’ (ICON) study. 2205 (67%) gave answers to a question asking for the top three things that the government or their employer could do to improve their working lives. Each participants' response was coded using thematic and content analysis. Multiple response analysis quantified the frequency of different issues and themes and examined variation by employer. Results: Most (77%) were employed by the National Health Service (77%) and worked at staff or senior staff nurse levels (55%). 5938 codable responses were generated. Personal protective equipment/staff safety (60.0%), support to workforce (28.6%) and better communication (21.9%) were the most cited themes. Within ‘personal protective equipment’, responses focussed most on available supply. Only 2.8% stated that nothing further could be done. Patterns were similar in both NHS and non-NHS settings. Conclusions: The analysis provided valuable insight into key changes required to improve the work lives of nurses during a pandemic. Urgent improvements in provision and quality of personal protective equipment were needed for the safety of both workforce and patients. Impact: Failure to meet nurses needs to be safe at work appears to have damaged morale in this vital workforce. We identified key strategies that, if implemented by the Government and employers, could have improved the working lives of the nursing and midwifery workforce during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and could prevent the pandemic from having a longer-term negative impact on the retention of this vital workforce. Patient or Public Contribution: No Patient or Public Contribution, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, urgency of the work and the target population being health and social care staff.

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The impact of COVID-19 on Nurses (ICON) survey-Final-02.09.22 - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 31 August 2022
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 September 2022
Published date: 29 September 2022
Additional Information: Funding Information: The full ICON study was supported with funding from the Burdett Trust for Nursing. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Keywords: COVID-19, content analysis, midwives, morale, nurses, nursing, personal protective equipment, survey, wellbeing, work-lives

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 471684
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/471684
ISSN: 0309-2402
PURE UUID: a849cf1e-7b0d-48c3-8164-622bebf952ab
ORCID for Jane Ball: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8655-2994
ORCID for Sydney Anstee: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1462-9446

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Date deposited: 16 Nov 2022 17:40
Last modified: 07 Jan 2023 02:49

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Contributors

Author: Jane Ball ORCID iD
Author: Sydney Anstee ORCID iD
Author: Keith Couper
Author: Jill Maben
Author: Holly Blake
Author: Janet E. Anderson
Author: Daniel Kelly
Author: Ruth Harris
Author: Anna Conolly

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