The COVID-19 pandemic has created major upheaval across the world, and for frontline practitioners in social work, this led to sudden changes in working practices alongside homeworking. In the summer of 2020, Parliament started to conduct an inquiry exploring workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this they put out a call for evidence from interested parties, and were particularly interested into early research findings. Areas of interest to the inquiry included the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on resilience, levels of workforce stress, and burnout across the NHS and social care sectors and the impacts of workforce burnout on service delivery, staff, patients and service users across the NHS and social care sectors.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 Professor Lee-Ann Fenge and Emily Rosenorn-Lanng from Bournemouth University developed a collaborative research project with Tilia Lenz from the Pan-Dorset and Wiltshire Teaching partnership (PDWTP) to explore the impact of COVID-19 on practitioners and managers, and to date this has been completed by 146 participants. We submitted evidence to this inquiry based on our preliminary findings, and this has now been published by the Health and Social Care Committee.
This publication recognises the importance of the research undertaken by BU and the PDWTP during COVID-19, and the contribution this makes to understanding how practitioners have responded to the unprecedented challenges created by the pandemic.