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Signposts on the road to recovery

25 February 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 4


Sam Foster, Chief Nurse, Oxford University Hospitals, reflects on ways in which nurse leaders can help their staff recover from the stresses of working during the COVID-19 pandemic

I asked one of our psychologists to join my team safety huddle last week to facilitate our conversation. We reflected that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated a number of issues that were in existence before this latest wave. Coupled with the current national lockdown, this has meant that the risk of burnout has increased and achieving ‘joy in work’ has been made all the more challenging. This is because the normal ways in which nurses de-stress, with wellbeing activities such as going to the gym, the pub or socialising together, are not available to us.

As the NHS prepares to recover from the pandemic, I have found the work of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) extremely informative. The IHI (2020a) reflected on the benefits of learning from the phases of disaster, highlighting this learning as beneficial for understanding the ‘predictable’ phases that we will be progressing through in the NHS.

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