The Aim

The aim of the TIDES Phase 2 quantitative project was to collect new quantitative data on existing and emerging ethnic inequalities in mental health, somatic symptoms and occupational outcomes during and after COVID-19. This was facilitated by developing and incorporating an “ethnicity module” into an existing national longitudinal study of NHS staff (the NHSCHECK study) , which is the TIDES inequalities survey.

Survey participants were offered the chance to attend Microaggressions workshops, facilitated by our collaborator, Challenge Consultancy.  Participants were given the opportunity to talk about microaggressions that they might experience or witness and were provided with structured ways to address them.

What we asked

  • Opinions on the COVID vaccine​
  • Experiences of bank staff ​
  • Discrimination both inside and outside the workplace ​
  • Re-deployment and risk Opinions on the COVID vaccine​
  • Experiences of bank staff ​
  • Discrimination both inside and outside the workplace ​
  • Re-deployment and risk assessments​
  • Work ethnic and workplace support​

Who completed the survey?

The survey went out to NHS CHECK participants at their 8 month follow up across 18 English NHS trusts. As of October 2021, 4,874 participants have completed our survey.

The Results

The TIDES team have established a writing group to discuss the findings from the inequalities survey, members of which include colleagues and collaborators from NHS CHECK. We are currently writing up our initial findings in our main paper and will soon be producing follow-up papers on discrimination.

Findings from this research will be shared via the TIDES teams and also through the participating NHS Trusts, who will use communications channels including websites and staff newsletters. NHS CHECK may also send you short summaries of the results via email. Research findings will also be shared with other NHS Trusts nationally via networks and professional bodies. In addition NHS CHECK will publish their findings in academic journals, and present them at conferences and meetings with those involved in staff health and wellbeing for the NHS. NHS CHECK will be working with members of the public and staff across the NHS sites to ensure the findings reach everyone involved. 

The aim

The aim of the TIDES phase 2 qualitative study was to identify how COVID-19 exacerbates ethnic inequalities in mental health and occupational outcomes amongst NHS staff, and the processes through which inequalities are produced, maintained and resisted. Specifically our aims were to:

1) Identify ethnic inequalities in mental health and occupational outcomes across NHS staff and the mechanisms that perpetuate these inequalities.

2) Explore the impact of pre and post-COVID-19 on the workplace experiences of racially and ethnically minoritised NHS staff, and how this influences mental health and workplace experiences.

What was involved

This study adopted a mixed-method study involving an online quantitative survey and qualitative interviews with three samples. Through a series of modified Delphi workshops (between September 2020 and December 2021) a wide range of stakeholders (service users, health and social care workers, members of the public), experts and advisory groups were involved in co-producing content for a survey module to be embedded into an existing national longitudinal study of NHS staff (NHS CHECK study involving 18 NHS Trusts in England), as well as topic guides for the qualitative interviews. 

Three separate sets of interviews were conducted, these include:

  1. the “NHS CHECK study sample” (n=35) which were racial and ethnic minority health and social care staff who completed the NHS CHECK inequalities survey (to explore how COVID-19 has affected mental and physical health and occupational outcomes).
  2. the “post COVID-19 TIDES study healthcare practitioner” sample (n=26), followed up interviews with TIDES Phase 1 interview participants following the onset of the pandemic. In-depth interviews were conducted to understand the impact of COVID-19 on experiences of discrimination, bullying and harassment.
  3. the TIDES study “senior leaders and managers” sample (n= 24) includes senior staff and management from NHS Trusts and organisations nationally. In-depth interviews were conducted to investigate the structural factors underpinning adversity for racial and ethnic minority health and social care staff during the pandemic.  

A total of 86 semi-structured interviews were conducted between November 2020–April 2022, with clinical and non-clinical NHS staff. Data collection was supported by the TIDES study team inclusive of three NHS Peer Researchers (trained racial and ethnic minority NHS staff from 3 NHS trusts), representing groups that are traditionally neglected and underrepresented in research either as participants, researchers or direct beneficiaries. We also partnered with Challenge Consultancy to complete the interviews with the senior leaders and managers’ study samples. The interview topic guide included questions on;

  • job role/responsibilities and changes since the pandemic
  • how working in the NHS throughout the pandemic affected mental and physical health and occupational outcomes
  • participants’ experiences of discrimination, bullying and harassment
  • support and resources that were available to staff during this time
  • positive experiences, if any, or changes at work or outside of work for themselves or others.
  • Perceptions and experiences of the COVID-19 vaccine and rollout programme (the post-COVID-19 TIDES study healthcare practitioner, senior leaders and managers samples only).

Interviews were conducted via MS Teams or by telephone and lasted up to 90 minutes. Recordings were transcribed verbatim and personally identifiable data was removed to maintain the confidentiality of participants.

Thank you to everyone who participated and took the time to share their experiences with us. 

What's happening with the data

Data from these interviews are being used to inform papers.

Some of these findings have gone into the TIDES paper discussing COVID vaccine hesitancy among NHS staff. “Race, ethnicity and COVID-19 vaccination: a qualitative study of UK healthcare staff ” which you can read/access here