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NHS Covid-teams

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Rapidly formed COVID-19 teams in the NHS: implications for leadership, team-working, career intentions and individual mental health.



  • Contact name

    Zoe Davey

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    Oxford Brookes University

  • Identifier

    E20025, Oxford Brookes UREC registration

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 0 months, 16 days

  • Research summary

    A key component of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been to reinforce acute and critical care capacity, through an unprecedented re-deployment of personnel from different care pathways (e.g., respiratory therapists, physiotherapists, student nurses and doctors) into fluid COVID teams (Ellis, et al., 2020; Mahendran et al., 2020; NHS England, 2020; Soled et al., 2020). Such necessary workforce adaptations to COVID may undermine the development of non technical factors such as teamwork, shared communication patterns and clear leadership structures, which have been repeatedly found to impact patient outcomes, delivery of care (Adams et al., 2018; Reid et al., 2016; Sims et al., 2015; White et al., 2018) as well as team member resilience, mental-health and retention (Greenberg et al., 2020; Tannenbaum et al., 2020). At present, there is limited evidence of the impact of COVID related working practices on experiences of teamwork and leadership, mental health, resilience and employment intentions.

    We aim to examine how such non-technical factors as well as potential COVID-related moderating factors (e.g., home events, work-life balance, lack of proximity) impact on COVID-19 team members’ perceived teamworking, leadership, and performance and whether there are longer-term outcomes from COVID-team working experiences on mental health and retention. The proposed study is a mixed methods cross-sectional exploratory study of (1) patient facing COVID-19 team members (e.g., nurses, nursing assistants, doctors, allied health professionals) and (2) leaders (i.e., clinical directors, nursing directors, senior managers), followed up by a more widely recruited confirmatory survey examining long-term individual well-being and retention intentions in patient facing staff. Throughout, there will be a high emphasis on rapid dissemination of results to project partners and wider NHS and medical stakeholders to inform evidence-based workforce guidance and accelerate wider team working theory, practice and policy.

  • REC name


  • REC reference