About us
Awareness & advocacy

At HWF we are committed to understanding the needs of healthcare workers around the UK and how we can best act to support them.

As well as having an advisory board made up of healthcare professionals who share their knowledge and expertise, we carry out ongoing research. We also actively seek out opportunities to work in conjunction with academic institutions, in order to qualify our impact.

These factors enable us to make well-informed decisions surrounding the key issues facing UK healthcare workers and deliver the services that will provide the most impact.

The Healthcare Workers’ Foundation is committed to evidence-based delivery of welfare and wellbeing support. We want to work with all parties – staff, trusts, business and the public – to champion and combine our support for healthcare workers, and make the economic, practical and moral case for that support.

Our research

The Alternative NHS Survey, conducted by the Healthcare Workers’ Foundation and NHS Million

We surveyed 1,200 staff employed by the NHS and also sent Freedom of Information requests to all NHS foundation trusts, with responses covering 436,000 staff. The HWF survey was published in September 2021.

  • 88% of staff reported no facilities to sleep while working on resident on-call on night shifts
  • 33% of staff reported they had no staff room at all
  • 31% of staff reported they had no access to natural daylight at their place of work
  • 63% of staff reported their work environment was an inappropriate temperature and most departments had no control over this

Less than 1 in 20 staff felt they had somewhere to rest after a night shift if they felt too tired to drive. 57% of surveyed anaesthetists reported a near-miss or actual accident whilst driving home. Every year there are fatalities in the UK amongst healthcare workers driving home after a shift.

These findings also had a direct impact on our staff room refurbishments programme of support.

The survey also covered mental health and bereaved families, which informed our support packages in these areas.

  • 73% of staff have considered leaving the NHS in the last 12 months
  • 69% of staff felt pressured to work even when unwell
  • Over 1,500 health and social care workers have lost their lives to COVID-19, many of whom were parents of young children

If you are interested in finding out more about our research, please email contact@healthcareworkersfoundation.org

External research relating to healthcare workers

The COVID-19 Clinician Cohort (CoCCo) Study: Empirically Grounded Recommendations for Forward-Facing Psychological Care of Frontline Doctors - PubMed (nih.gov)

Psychological distress and trauma in doctors providing frontline care during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom and Ireland: a prospective longitudinal survey cohort study | BMJ Open

Advocacy

We want to give a voice to people working in healthcare across the UK. It’s easy for the public to get frustrated with waiting lists and red tape and forget that behind all that is a genuinely caring workforce, as frustrated as everyone else.

They are not the waiting lists, or the red tape; they are not the obstacles between you and your treatment. They are your mother, your brother, your neighbour, your friend. They are all people, working in difficult jobs with little reward. And we can’t survive without them. We want to shine a light on the incredible job they do and the help they need to go on doing it.