The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is placing a significant strain on healthcare. We conducted a national survey of the UK nephrology workforce to understand its impacts on their working lives.


An online questionnaire incorporating the Maslach Burnout Inventory score was distributed between 31 March and 1 May 2021, with a focus on COVID-19 and long COVID incidence, vaccine uptake, burnout and working patterns. Data were analysed qualitatively and quantitatively; multivariable logistic regression was used to identify associations.


A total of 423 responses were received. Of them, 29% had contracted COVID-19, which was more common among doctors and nurses {odds ratio [OR] 2.18 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.13–4.22]} and those <55 years of age [OR 2.60 (95% CI 1.38–4.90)]. Of those who contracted COVID-19, 36% had symptoms of long COVID, which was more common among ethnicities other than White British [OR 2.57 (95% CI 1.09–6.05)]. A total of 57% had evidence of burnout, which was more common among younger respondents [OR 1.92 (95% CI 1.10–3.35)] and those with long COVID [OR 10.31 (95% CI 1.32–80.70)], and 59% with reconfigured job plans continued to work more hours. More of those working full-time wished to retire early. A total of 59% experienced remote working, with a majority preference for continuing this in the future. In terms of vaccination, 95% had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 86% had received two doses by May 2021.


Burnout and long COVID is prevalent with impacts on working lives. Some groups are more at risk. Vaccination uptake is high and remote and flexible working were well received. Institutional interventions are needed to prevent workforce attrition.


This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite as

Selvaskandan, H., Nimmo, A., Savino, M., Afuwape, S., Brand, S., Graham-Brown, M., Medcalf, J., Cockwell, P. & Beckwith, H. 2021, 'Burnout and long COVID among the UK nephrology workforce: results from a national survey investigating the impact of COVID-19 on working lives', Clinical Kidney Journal, 15(3), pp. 517-526. https://doi.org/10.1093/ckj/sfab264

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Last updated: 26 May 2023
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