The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the extent to which society depends upon essential workers, with health and social care workers in particular playing a critical role in pulling us through the crisis.

Last year people took to the streets to applaud their heroic work.  But what happens now that the clapping has stopped?  What is the aftermath of COVID-19 on the health and social care workers who have spent the last year working under extreme pressure, in sometimes dangerous conditions?  What lessons from before and during the pandemic should we take forward into the post-covid era?

In partnership with the Healthcare People Management Association, we have developed a “Spotlight on Health & Social Care” video series which draws on evidence gathered before and during the pandemic to explore the implications of Covid-19 for employment relations in the sector across the 4 UK nations.

Themes covered include:

Employee Engagement and Productivity in the National Health Service in England

Understanding Human Capital amongst Social Care Employees  

Wellbeing, Working Life and Coping Strategies during COVID-19

Partnership working and work engagement in NHS Scotland

Inclusive Leadership – in conversation with Roger Kline

Values-based Recruitment in Adult Social Care

Enhancing fairness and justice in people management

Employee Engagement and Productivity in the National Health Service in England

The links between employee experience and individual and organisational performance have been well documented. However, how does this translate to a healthcare setting? How does employee engagement impact patient outcomes such as patient satisfaction, mortality and infection rates?

Christian van Stolk, Executive Vice President at RAND Europe joins Professor Colin Lindsay, Director of the PrOPEL Hub, to explore how staff engagement is linked with both individual outcomes – such as rates of absenteeism or presenteeism – and patient and organisational outcomes such as better quality of care and financial performance.

Understanding Human Capital amongst Social Care Employees  

Non-profit organisations (NPOs) face growing competition for funding and resources to survive. To enhance their organisational value, performance and ultimately competitiveness, they are increasingly looking to progressive management strategies as a solution.  What benefits and limitations does such an approach have within an NPO?

Dr Martin McCracken, Research Director at Ulster University Business School and Dr Denise Currie, Senior Lecturer at Queens University Belfast explore what the evidence tells us and consider implications for policymakers and practitioners.

Wellbeing, Working Life and Coping Strategies during COVID-19– Experiences of Health and Social Care Workers

The last year has thrown up numerous challenges for health and social care workers often juggling increased workloads, stressful working environments and personal responsibilities.  How has the mental wellbeing of health and social care workers been impacted and what coping strategies have they adopted during this challenging time?

Dr Martin McCracken is joined by Dr Denise Currie, Senior Lecturer at Queens University Belfast, Dr Paula McFadden, Senior Lecturer at Ulster University and Dr Jermaine Ravalier, Reader at Bath Spa University, who give a snapshot of findings from research carried out during two different phases of the COVID-19 crisis and discuss practical tips for managers, employers and regulators on how to best support their workforce through the pandemic and into a ‘rebuilding phase’ post pandemic.

Partnership working and work engagement in NHS Scotland

Partnership working in NHS Scotland has been crucial to employment relations for more than two decades and has recently been required to pivot towards health and social care integration, and contribute to responses to the COVID19 crisis. Research by the University of Strathclyde in partnership with NHS Scotland has assessed the impact of Partnership arrangements; and how they set the context for employee engagement strategies across the NHS and care.

Professor Patricia Findlay Director at the Scottish Centre for Employment Research at the University of Strathclyde highlights key takeaways from more than a decade worth of research into partnership working in the NHS and care sector and considers the future of partnership working post Covid-19. She is joined by Shirley Rogers, Director of Organisational Readiness at Scottish Government.  Shirley shares her lived experience of partnership working and provide practical insight on the “how” of implementing such an approach from her years as NHS Scotland Chief People Officer and Scottish Government Workforce and Strategy Director.

Inclusive leadership in the NHS – in conversation with Roger Kline

Professor Richard Saundry of the Centre for Decent Work at the University of Sheffield talks to Roger Kline, Research Fellow at Middlesex Business School about his extensive work in the NHS around the development of inclusive leadership. Roger outlines the case for more inclusive approaches to leadership and management and the practical steps that NHS organisations and those in other sectors can take to make this a reality.

Values-based Recruitment in Adult Social Care

Professor Richard Saundry is joined by colleagues from Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, the Good Employment Learning Lab and Wigan Local Authority who share their experiences of delivering Values Based Recruitment training to line managers in the adult social care sector. The team reflect on the rationale for using values based recruitment, and lessons learned from participants’ exploration and implementation of VBR for the social care sector and beyond.

Enhancing fairness and justice in people management

This session explores the development of a Just and Learning Culture at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, which has transformed the way that potential disciplinary issues are managed and had a wider impact on organisational culture. 

Amanda Oates, Executive Director of Workforce and Kristina Brown, Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Management at Northumbria University discuss this innovative work and lessons for organization inside and outside the NHS.

You can access Merseyside NHS’s free online learning modules at:

Module 1 – A new way of caring:

Module 2 – A guide to HR Practice:

Module 3 – What Every Board should know:

Module 4 – Respect and Civility: