Covid-19 is again the focus for the latest issue of Nursing in Practice, with the front cover examining how the pandemic has affected the mental health of nurses.

nurse face mask

Practice and community nurses, and midwives, have been under constant strain since March, often having to deal with increased workloads while getting used to the new normal, such as doing appointments virtually.

As coronavirus cases rise and seasonal illnesses start to emerge, and the Government has launched an expanded flu programme this year, nurses are facing a difficult winter period. There are concerns many nurses could suffer greater burnout and anxiety than usual, and that the suicide rate among them, already relatively high, will go up.

Many nurses were redeployed away from their usual roles during the height of the pandemic, which caused them uncertainty but also contributed to a backlog of services. We explore in this issue how big a task catching up with those services will be.

In this autumn edition of Nursing in Practice, we also look at the particularly damaging effect Covid-19 has had on care homes and what already-existing issues within that sector the virus has exposed. Surveys over the summer revealed, including one of our own, that care homes in the first few months of the pandemic were often pushed into accepting patients from hospitals they knew had tested positive for coronavirus.