A report for Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board this week revealed the impact of the pandemic on a lot of healthcare workers locally.
Giving feedback, Wayne Wrathall said that although there had been an unprecedented resilience from within the workforce, most were now suffering from covid fatigue.
It was highlighted that staffing in critical care (CCU) nursing had been, and remained, a major issue due to the nursing skills and expertise needed and that CCU nurses were supervising other nursing staff deployed to the department.
Mr Wrathall also commented on the ‘fantastic support’ that had been received from senior management and said it had been appreciated by staff.
Chief executive Jeff Ace said that he had spoken to many staff in DGRI who had praised the support from the psychological services team. Mr Ace was struck by how much it was valued and is keen for this support to carry on.
The role of community nurses was also highlighted, whereby most had worked additional hours, leaving them now ‘extremely stressed.
It was agreed to promote the offer of psychological support to them further.
Meanwhile, mental health services had coped well with the second wave of coronavirus, but there too it was noted that there was ‘increasing weariness amongst staff and that both staff and patients were more exhausted and depressed’.
Overall, the meeting heard that staff morale amongst many is very low and that resilience has dropped off among nursing staff from across all areas.
Mr Ace expressed a wish to give staff time to reflect and think about things and recognise what everyone has been through.