In a severe pandemic, enormous pressure may be placed on practice staff as frontline workers. Those who are in close contact with potentially infected patients are at increased risk of contracting influenza. There may be fear of contagion, particularly in relation to infecting their own children or other family members.
Practice staff may be dealing with increased numbers of distressed or even angry patients. Extended working hours, insomnia and fatigue require management, particularly in pandemics of a longer duration.
Support for staff is important to enable efficient practice functioning. It is essential to remind all staff that their most important health priority is their own; they cannot help their patients or families if they fail to look after their own mental and physical wellbeing.