Table 1

Qualitative themes and prompts for action

Prevention themeActions staff felt were wrongStaff suggestionsPrompts for action
Supervisor check-insStrong emotions were noted regarding a perceived lack of contact with managers/supervisors. This created a sense of isolation, lack of value and lack of opportunity to raise issues that could be dealt with.Regular supportive check ins with managers, informal team meetings and accessible ‘Mental Health Support’Who will you contact to let them know what you, or your staff, need from them to function well?
How can you connect with staff to meet their needs and concerns?
KindnessStaff reported receiving ‘Verbal abuse from colleagues due to their own stress levels’, being ‘told off’ for raising ‘serious safety concerns’ and a ‘public perception that nurses are carrying disease’. Impacts of these issues affected well-being and functioning.Educating the public, ‘Challenging toxic behaviours within teams’ and support for senior staff ‘to manage their own emotions’. It was noted that a ‘command and control’ approach ‘needs to be balanced with kindness and compassion’What one small thing can you do, for one other person today, that might help them feel supported and connected?
What would help you to stay in enough control of your emotions not to pass your stress on?
Fair rules and enforcementMany staff felt frustrated or angry about rules not being obeyed by colleagues, people in authority and the public.
There were some strong differing views about when people should work from home and what fair sharing of workload means.
Rules ‘need to be really clear, reasonable’ and ‘enforced’ with ‘spot checks of buildings’.
Choices, collaboration and ample notice about role allocation. Respondents asked that policies ‘apply to all’ but also that ‘individual needs’ are taken in to account.
Who do you need to have a conversation with to better understand each other’s needs and values?
How are you ensuring rules are followed fairly?
…and balancing that with individual need?
Effective communication and processes (the way things are done)A ‘lack of communication’ from government, organisations, leaders and between agencies or team members was a frequent concern.
Respondents also reported being worried about the way things are done, patient care, staff safety and apparent lack of action on issues raised.
Clearer communication and opportunity to raise concerns and find solutions.
Staff had some specific ideas for example, have a ‘designated social worker” for each care home, use of ‘NHS mail to exchange information quickly’ and provision of adequate requested resources, for example, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), uniform, equipment.
What can you do to share ideas/solutions/feedback or decisions clearly at the right time with the right people?