Table 1.

Thematic analysis summary of main reasons for anxiety

Causes of anxiety (themes generated)Comments
Fear of dying and leaving dependentsConcerns about leaving dependents, in particular, when both parents were key workers and leaving children orphaned, and fear of loved ones dying.
Transferred anxietyAnxiety transferred from colleagues, managers, employees and patients, and consequent work-based conflicts.
Lack of remote working optionsInability to work from home or to work from home effectively due to IT infrastructure, resources and support issues.
Reduced usual service provisionConcerns about adverse impact on patients due to reduced services and routine care; staff sickness; and reduced usual support networks.
Clinical uncertaintyIssues around working safely in non-face-to-face consultations, managing risk without examining patients, and how to manage patient anxiety.
General uncertaintyConcerns about impact on economy, length of pandemic, and people not following lockdown rules.
Social impact of COVID-19Concerns about social isolation, reduced usual support networks, childcare issues, and panic buying.
Change in work settingProblems with increased workload, cancelled leave, and changing landscape (specifically locum general practitioners): feeling unsupported, reduced demand for work and lack of locum options to work remotely.
Leadership issuesLack of trust in national leadership and lack of government preparedness were mentioned. Lack of coordination creating confusion and increased workload eg how to identify and manage high-risk patients.