Staff well-being in UK children's hospices: a national survey

Andre Bedendo, Andrew Papworth, Johanna Taylor, Bryony Beresford, Suzanne Mukherjee, Lorna Fraser, Lucy Ziegler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Poor psychological well-being among healthcare workers can have numerous negative impacts, but evidence about levels of burnout in children's hospice care staff is limited. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of burnout and to explore the association between staff characteristics and support mechanisms with burnout among children's hospice care staff in the UK.

METHODS: Two national online surveys collecting data on hospice care staff psychological well-being and hospice organisational characteristics. All children's hospices in the UK were invited.Thirty-one hospices (out of 52) responded to the hospice survey and 583 staff responded to the staff survey. Data collection took place between May and December 2020 and measures included the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, Work Engagement and the Health and Safety Executive Management Standards Indicator Tool.

RESULTS: Burnout prevalence was 11% and mean burnout score was 32.5 (SD: 13.1). Burnout levels were independent of working arrangements (eg, working from home or at the hospice) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospices performed well in most management standards, but poorly on the 'Control' domain. The average Work Engagement score for staff was 7.5 (SD: 1.5).

CONCLUSIONS: Burnout levels for staff in children's hospices in the UK were lower than in other healthcare settings, with this comparing to 17.3% among palliative care staff generally. Overall, hospices performed well in management standards and there was no indication of urgent action needed. Work Engagement in our sample was higher compared with other National Health Service workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Supportive & Palliative Care
Early online date29 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Aug 2023

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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