NHS CHECK is investigating the psychosocial and occupational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on NHS staff in Trusts across England.
NHS CHECK is a longitudinal cohort study, consisting of online and paper surveys completed at 6, 8, and 12 months from April 2020. Around 23,400 staff (clinical, non-clinical, professional and support staff) working in participating Trusts were invited to complete surveys via emails, posters, flyers, and meetings. A Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group consisting of NHS staff in frontline and support roles, wellbeing and diversity group representatives, and trade union representatives, helped develop the surveys and recruitment strategy.
It is important to note that, as in all questionnaire-only surveys of mental health, the measures used in NHS CHECK do not indicate a mental disorder diagnosis, but an increased probability that a disorder may exist. In-depth structured diagnostic phone interviews are being used with a sub-sample of participants at 6-12 months to validate survey data.
This will give more accurate data on the true prevalence of mental disorders in order to distinguish disorders from distress. Though both may require further intervention or treatment, this is more likely with disorders than distress.
ARC North Thames is the lead ARC on NHS CHECK, working collaboratively with 7 NIHR ARCs across the country. Funded by the UKRI-DHSC, MRC and other funders, it has received Urgent Public Health Priority status and will therefore be prioritised for resource allocation in any future emergency phase of the pandemic.
Initially conceived by researchers at Kings College London and launched in three London King’s Health Partners Trusts, other Trusts were subsequently added using a staggered approach, covering: Cornwall, Devon, Cambridge, Peterborough, Norfolk, East Suffolk, North Essex, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Avon and Wiltshire, Gloucestershire.