In its entirety, the pandemic has taken a significant toll on the mental and physical health of the nursing workforce, with burnout and fatigue being experienced in every single area of health and social care, not just those working with acutely unwell COVID patients.
Within acute settings, many members of the nursing workforce have been redeployed for the waves of the pandemic and will need to return to their substantive role. Many scheduled physical and mental health services across health and social care have been delayed or cancelled, causing a significant backlog.
Nursing across all community settings, including care homes, has faced an escalation in staff/resident ratios, a reduction in family support due to the pandemic restrictions and experienced increased pressure in both complexity and acuity in an already unstable tightly funded system.
The national vaccination programme is ongoing, and is a fantastic step forward, but it does put added pressure on the nursing workforce now delivering the programme.
It is important that the Standards are not seen as another target to meet; they are designed to support the entire nursing workforce across health and social care as a roadmap to aid remobilisation and recovery.