Moving images show care workers facing up to life on the Covid front line as data reveals two thirds of staff suffered mental health problems during the pandemic.
Stunning portraits of staff at a care home capture key workers in face masks with their feelings written on them.
Tony Briggs, deputy clinical nurse manager at Newfield Care Home, wrote ‘Humble’ on his mask having just returned to work after a month in intensive care with Covid-19.
They are revealed as a shocking survey of care homes bearing the brunt of the crisis shows anxiety was cited as the most common illness, followed by depression and stress.
The majority of providers questioned said that 10-20 per cent of their workforce had approached them with concerns about their mental health.
Data also shows that 36 per cent of homes have seen an increase in mental health problems among their residents, including depression and anxiety.
And 36 per cent had been contacted by families of residents who had told them that they were also experiencing poor mental health as a result of the pandemic.
The shocking figures were revealed in a survey conducted by the Sheffield Care Association with responses from 22 care home providers.
Nicola Richards, managing director of Palms Row Health Care, and chair of the Sheffield Care Association, said: “Sadly, care homes have taken the full force of the impact of this pandemic and the impact on the mental health of care home staff has been massive.
“I’m extremely proud of all my staff and the way they have responded to this horrific period but I’m not surprised that many of them, along with carers throughout the city, are struggling with their mental health and I fear we may see experienced staff exit the sector as they struggle to cope.”
Almost three quarters of care home providers said they expect to see an increase in mental health problems after this pandemic from residents, staff and families.
Nicola added: “They have spent the last four months fighting for residents’ lives while putting their own health at risk despite every safety precaution being taken within the homes.
“This is a workforce that has made the wellbeing of the most vulnerable people in our society a priority and sacrificed time with their own families in order to protect them.”
Staff featured in these portraits have seen more than 28 of their residents test positive for Covid-19 and 18 tragically die after testing positive for the virus.
Nicola added: “They’ve also experienced unimaginable heartache after seeing residents die in extreme circumstances and also the higher death toll in some care homes across the country.
“They’re understandably exhausted and we as a society need to repay our debt to them and recognise what they’ve been through.”