The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on UK older people’s social workers: a mixed-methods study

Justin MacLochlainn, Jill Manthorpe, John Mallett, Susan McGrory, Jermaine Ravalier, Patricia Nicholl, Heike Schroder, Denise Currie, Paula McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The social work profession was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this study, we examined the well-being, working conditions and intentions to leave the social work profession among a sample of UK older people’s social workers. This was a cross-sectional mixed methods study analysing data from 426 social workers who worked in older people’s services in the UK at five time points of the pandemic spanning 2020–2022. Data were collected using anonymous online surveys which included both quantitative and qualitative questions. The mental well-being of participants decreased as the pandemic progressed and this decline was associated with intentions to leave the profession. Thematic analysis of qualitative data revealed two major themes: Practice challenges and Staff well-being. The findings highlight the nature of stressors related to internal related practice demands, and external health and social care service stressors encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic and have implications for policy, practice and research in older people’s social work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Early online date30 May 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 30 May 2023


  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Health (social science)


Dive into the research topics of 'The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on UK older people’s social workers: a mixed-methods study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this