INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on the working lives of healthcare workers (HCWs), but the extent to which their well-being and mental health have been affected remains unclear. This longitudinal cohort study aims to recruit a cohort of National Health Service (NHS) HCWs, conducting surveys at regular intervals to provide evidence about the prevalence of symptoms of mental disorders, and investigate associated factors such as occupational contexts and support interventions available.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: All staff, students and volunteers working in the 18 participating NHS Trusts in England will be sent emails inviting them to complete a survey at baseline, with email invitations for the follow-up surveys sent 6 months and 12 months later. Opening in late April 2020, the baseline survey collects data on demographics, occupational/organisational factors, experiences of COVID-19, validated measures of symptoms of poor mental health (eg, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder), and constructs such as resilience and moral injury. These surveys will be complemented by in-depth psychiatric interviews with a sample of HCWs. Qualitative interviews will also be conducted, to gain deeper understanding of the support programmes used or desired by staff, and facilitators and barriers to accessing such programmes.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval for the study was granted by the Health Research Authority (reference: 20/HRA/210, IRAS: 282686) and local Trust Research and Development approval. Cohort data are collected via Qualtrics online survey software, pseudonymised and held on secure university servers. Participants are aware that they can withdraw from the study at any time, and there is signposting to support services if participants feel they need it. Only those consenting to be contacted about further research will be invited to participate in further components. Findings will be rapidly shared with NHS Trusts, and via academic publications in due course.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere051687
Pages (from-to)e051687
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Cohort Studies
  • England/epidemiology
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • State Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'NHS CHECK: protocol for a cohort study investigating the psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this