PEOPLE across Dorset stood outside at 8pm on Thursday nights to 'clap for carers'. This demonstrated the strength of goodwill and support for our health and social care staff and the crucial roles they played, and continue to play, during the pandemic.

But that has taken its toll. 24% of 4,063 nurses and midwives across the UK, surveyed between 28 April 2020 and 12 May 2020, said they were suffering severe or extremely severe depression.

But this was a stressful job long before Covid reared its ugly head. In just six years between 2011 and 2017, at least 307 NHS nurses took their own lives. Although the 320,000 NHS nursing staff can be referred to local mental health services, research has shown that they feel they may be stigmatised if they disclose a mental illness to their employer. Post COVID it is expected we will see an increase in anxiety, stress, depression, or other psychiatric illnesses.

NIGHT, a new charity,, is currently fundraising to ensure that every nurse, midwife, or healthcare assistant who requests confidential help can access it.

Clapping for them was moving and emotional, supporting their mental health is even more important.

Peter Arndt

The Nightingale Initiative for Global Healthcare Transformation (NIGHT)

Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital