Background The response to the COVID-19 pandemic required redeployment of large numbers of staff to avoid acute services being overwhelmed. This unprecedented, previously unplanned redeployment occurred in a rapidly changing environment. This paper describes the process of redeployment at a teaching hospital and assessment of this by the redeployed doctors and redeployment team.
Objective Identify key lessons from the redeployment process to inform resilience and future planning for further COVID-19 peaks.
Methods Redeployment team experiences and challenges were documented in real time and formal structured feedback obtained. All redeployed doctors were asked for quantitative and qualitative feedback regarding their experiences in two distinct acute areas with different approaches to staffing.
Results 63 redeployed staff and five members of the redeployment team completed feedback questionnaires. Most redeployed doctors (76%) were satisfied and had adequate support and training. Redeployment was associated with self-reported stress and anxiety in 95% with 59% describing this as moderate or greater. This was reduced by adequate communication, supervision and a sense of belonging to a firm with access to simple information making a significant difference. Awareness of and satisfaction with well-being support services was also high (71%).
The redeployment team identified having a well-mixed team who met daily, an online portal and engagement with leads as the key factors for being successful.
Conclusion Redeployment in response to COVID-19 was associated with reported stress and anxiety in most redeployed doctors. Communication, local induction and feeling valued and being part of a team helped reduce this.
- organisational effectiveness
- medical leadership
- healthcare planning
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.https://bmj.com/coronavirus/usage
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Contributors The authors both contributed to the preparation of this manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.