Mental health, occupational outcomes and wellbeing among lower paid NHS staff


Supervisor: Simon Wessely

Non-accademic partner: NHS England and NHS Improvement

Studentship start date: October 2021

Application deadline: 21 February 2021

Application details:

The studentship is available both full-time or part-time.

The UK has relied heavily on NHS staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and an effective workforce requires good mental health. NHS staff earning under £24k-a-year make up more than 1/3 of this workforce. Despite this, and higher rates of staff sickness within this group before and during the pandemic, limited is known about their mental health, occupational outcomes and wellbeing, and associated determinants. As part of the on-going NHS CHECK study, we are gathering detailed longitudinal data on NHS staff, including lower paid staff, across 18 Trusts in England. Over 17,000 NHS staff have already participated in the baseline questionnaire and will be followed up at 6 and 12 months. Questions are being asked about their health, distress and work environment. As part of this project, the student will explore 1) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health, occupational and wellbeing outcomes, and associated determinants, of lower paid NHS staff, 2) how this impact may change over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 3) what existing support has been helpful in promoting positive outcomes and mitigating negative outcomes in these groups of staff. Findings will increase our understanding about the needs of this often-overlooked group of NHS staff and inform an effective support strategy, for example for future workforce planning, emergency response strategies or mental health support. This process will be facilitated via an internship at NHS England / NHS Improvement as part of this project. Findings will be published in scientific journals and summarised using clear infographics that will be shared via social media, the NHS CHECK website and newsletters to NHS staff. The student will be able to attend public speaking events and conferences to disseminate findings as well as share these with partners and organisations closely working with the NHS CHECK research team including participating NHS Trusts, Unions, senior Trust management groups, and policy-makers in NHS England / NHS Improvement.