The well-being of nurses working in general practice during the COVID-19 pandemic: A qualitative study (The GenCo Study)

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Exploration of experiences of nurses working in general practice during the COVID-19 pandemic to evaluate the impact on nurses' professional well-being.

An exploratory qualitative study comprised of case studies of three general practice sites in England and a nationwide interview study of nurses working in general practice and nurse leaders. The study was funded by The General Nursing Council for England and Wales Trust. University of York ethics approval (HSRGC/2021/458/I) and Health Research Authority approval was obtained (IRAS: 30353, Protocol number: R23982, Ref 21/HRA/5132, CPMS: 51834).

Forty participants took part. Case site data consisted of interviews/focus groups and national data consisted of semi-structured interviews. Data collection took place between April and August 2022. Analysis was underpinned by West et al.'s (The courage of compassion. Supporting nurses and midwives to deliver high-quality care, The King's fund, 2020) ABC framework of nurses' core work well-being needs.

The majority of participants experienced challenges to their professional well-being contributed to by lack of recognition, feeling undervalued and lack of involvement in higher-level decision-making. Some participants displayed burnout and stress. Structural and cultural issues contributed to this and many experiences pre-dated, but were exacerbated by, the COVID-19 pandemic.

By mapping findings to the ABC framework, we highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of nurses working in general practice and contributing workplace factors. The issues identified have implications for retention and for the future of nursing in general practice. The study highlights how this professional group can be supported in the future.

The study contributes to our understanding of the experiences of nurses working in general practice during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Findings have implications for this skilled and experienced workforce, for retention of nurses in general practice, the sustainability of the profession more broadly and care quality and patient safety.

Reporting Method
Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (O'Brien et al. in Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 89(9), 1245–1251, 2014).

Patient or Public Contribution
As this was a workforce study there was no patient or public contribution.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Early online date30 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors.

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