Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


The impact of Covid-19 on frontline health and social care workers

23 March 2021, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Seminar notice

To explore the psychosocial well-being of health and social care professionals working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Event Information

Open to





Floriana Bortolotti

Mr Henry Aughterson 
Recording of this seminar can be viewed at this link

To explore the psychosocial well-being of health and social care professionals working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was a qualitative study deploying in-depth, individual interviews, which were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was used for coding. The study involved 25 participants from a range of frontline professions in health and social care. Interviews were conducted over the phone or video call, depending on participant preference. From the analysis,  5 overarching themes were identified: communication challenges, work-related stressors, support structures, personal growth, and individual resilience. The participants expressed difficulties such as communication challenges and changing work conditions, but also positive factors such as increased team unity at work, and a greater reflection on what matters in life. This study provides evidence on the support needs of health and social care professionals amid continued and future disruptions caused by the pandemic. It also elucidates some of the successful strategies (such as mindfulness, hobbies, restricting news intake, virtual socialising activities) deployed by health and social care professionals that can support their resilience and well-being and be used to guide future interventions.

About the speaker:

Henry Aughterson is a medical student on the UCL MBPhD programme. He has completed his 4th year as a medical undergraduate student and has taken 3 years out of medical school to complete his PhD.
Henry's PhD project looks at social prescribing for mental health and well-being, more specfically, exploring the mechanisms of action and barriers and enablers to effective implementation. His supervisors are Dr Daisy Fancourt, Dr. Alexandra Burton, Prof Helen Chatterjee and Dr. Marie Polley.
Henry also has an iBSc in Global Health from UCL – his dissertation explored the mental health impact of rough sleeping on individuals in London. Prior to his PhD, he also helped with a literature review on the mental health impact on left-behind minors in low-income countries. His motivation to do a PhD looking at social prescribing was influenced by his year studying Global Health, but mostly due to his experience as a medical student, in which he felt the psychosocial components of patient care were often neglected in comparison to excellence in the biomedical areas. Henry also has significant experience in the community sector, including working with undocumented migrants on healthcare access, gender equality in schools, sexual education, mentoring, and community gardening.