Background: Many NHS workers have greater occupational risk of exposure to Covid-19 than the general population. In the first wave of the pandemic in the UK, the risk of healthcare workers testing positive for Covid-19 was seven times higher than non-essential workers. In Scotland, healthcare workers and their households contributed to a sixth of cases admitted to hospital. Methods: Mixed methods study. NHS workers across Scotland who self-report Long Covid (LC) symptoms were invited to complete an online questionnaire. Recruitment was via social media, professional mailing lists and online support groups. Questions included LC symptoms, physical and mental wellbeing and healthcare use. Subgroups were invited for qualitative interviews. Utilising maximum variation sampling, these will capture a range of experiences from medical practitioners, nurses, Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and ancillary/support staff. Results: Note: these are preliminary data at this stage. Online questionnaires were completed by 471 NHS workers and includes: 226 (48%) Nurses/midwives/Health Care Assistants; 52 (11%) AHPs; 50 (11%) Ancillary staff; 37 (8%) Doctors; 106 (23%) Admin and others. Most worked in hospital settings (n=282, 60%). 64% (n=298) had a Covid-19 test when they first had symptoms and 68 (14%) were admitted to hospital. The ability to carry out day-to-day activities were reported as 'Limited a Lot' by 51% (n=241). 48% (n=227) had LC symptoms for over a year. Most common symptoms were: Fatigue (n=412, 88%); 'Brain fog' (n=374, 80%); Breathlessness (n=324, 69%). In-depth qualitative interviews are currently being conducted online, exploring the personal lived experience of LC. Conclusions: This is a mixed methods longitudinal study with follow-up planned six months after initial data collection. Data collection is on-going and we will present the over-arching findings from the first questionnaires and interviews.

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Torrance, N., Grant, A., Adams, N., MacIver, E., Douglas, F., Kydd, A., Hernandez Santiago, V., Skåtun, D. & Kennedy, C. 2022, 'Mixed methods study of lived experience of long-term Covid-19 on NHS workers in Scotland', Robert Gordon University. https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1695174

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Last updated: 01 October 2022
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