19 August 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has hit RCSLT members hard, according to the findings of the biweekly wellbeing survey that’s been going out to healthcare workers since May.

The first survey in the series, conducted in May, revealed a number of trends when it comes to the wellbeing of SLTs, SLTAs and student SLTs, with many members experiencing significant anxiety.

The latest wave of responses from August show that the lifting of lockdown measures and a more widespread return to practice are further affecting members’ wellbeing, making them feel slightly more nervous and less confident.

Respondents also reported slightly increased anxiety from previous weeks, listing financial worries, concern for friends and family, and low morale at work as being contributing factors.

When it comes to describing the working environment, the most common words used by survey respondents were ‘unpredictable’, ‘emotionally challenging’ and ‘intense’—those working for the NHS and with COVID-19 patients were especially likely to use these descriptors. However, more respondents in the most recent survey also described their working environment as ‘collaborative’, representing a potential positive shift.

When asked what would make them feel more confident returning to normal working routines, ‘more guidance’ and ‘PPE’ (particularly clear face masks) emerged as common themes.

Monitoring members’ wellbeing and addressing their needs remains a priority for the RCSLT, so we are grateful to all those members who have completed the survey. The results will be used to inform our ongoing work on wellbeing and support, as well as our policy and influencing work.