Covid-19 teams in the NHS

Principal Investigator(s): Professor Vincent Connelly


Project start: November 2020

Funded by: ESRC

About us

Rapidly formed Covid-19 teams in the NHS - Implications for leadership, team-working, career intentions and individual mental health.

This UK-wide study aims to understand the implications of working in Covid-19 teams for:

  • leadership
  • team-working
  • career intentions
  • individual mental health.

We are exploring how:

  • NHS trusts have learned throughout the pandemic
  • how medical staff experienced the pandemic
  • how deployment in Covid-19 teams has impacted staff members’ teamworking, performance, individual wellbeing and employment retention intentions.

We therefore assess established non-technical factors (eg leadership, social support, communication) and moderating factors (eg occupational background, preparedness, work-life balance and home situation). Both of which may impact upon team members' ability to bond and work together.

The proposed study utilises exploratory semi-structured interviews of Covid-19 team members, clinical directors and senior managers. Interviews are followed up with an online survey. These aim to examine long-term individual wellbeing and retention intentions.

This research will inform evidence-based workforce guidance and accelerate wider team working theory, practice and policy. 

Join our study

Nurses looking down on patient

Research impact

Nurses walking away

This work promises a contribution at the cutting edge of medical teamwork by aiming to understand how Covid teams worked during long-term high stress situations, which individual characteristics or training needs increase coping and resilience, and to assess the impact of re-deployment to Covid teams on mental health and intention to stay in the NHS.

The research significantly expands preliminary work conducted on individual health outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic, by systematically analysing the enduring impact of teamwork and leadership upon psychological outcomes, resilience, and employment intentions of medical staff at the front line of the Covid response. 

The research project will be relevant for the nationwide response to future pandemics as well as to localised emergency and disaster relief efforts requiring ad-hoc fluid teamwork, by providing best practices and educational guidance.



Name Role Email
Maria Armaou Post Graduate Research Assistant
Professor Paul Carding Director of OxINMAHR (Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research)
Professor Vincent Connelly Professor & Programme Lead for Psychology


Name Role Organisation
Professor Martin Bricknell Professor in Conflict, Health and Military Medicine King's College London
Dr Zoe Morrison Academic Strategic Lead - People, Organisations and Practice Robert Gordon University Aberdeen