Clapping for carers in the Covid-19 crisis: carers’ reflections in a UK survey

Manthorpe, J, Iliffe, S, Gillen, P, Moriarty, J, Mallett, J, Schroder, H, Currie, D, Ravalier, J.M and McFadden, P (2022) 'Clapping for carers in the Covid-19 crisis: carers’ reflections in a UK survey.' Health and Social Care in the Community, 30 (4). pp. 1442-1449. ISSN 0966-0410

14027.pdf - Published Version
CC BY 4.0.

Download (597kB) | Preview
Official URL:


This paper reports and discusses the weekly Clapping for Carers – described as ‘front-line heroes’ that took place across the United Kingdom during the first national lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic. Data are drawn from a UK-wide online survey of health and social care workers, completed in May to July 2020. The survey received 3,425 responses of which 2,541 were analysed; free-text comments were categorised. One question asked specifically: ‘Do you think the “Clap for Carers” was a helpful response from the public?’, and 815 comments were provided. Responses were extracted from these 815 free-text comments and categorised as follows: unequivocally Yes, predominantly Yes, mixed feelings, predominantly No and unequivocally No. Most comments revealed mixed feelings about the helpfulness of Clapping with only a minority being entirely supportive. The free-text comments offer some explanations for these views with many feeling that Clapping distracted from the severity of the pandemic and the inadequate resources. The free-text comments reveal workforce concerns that the support demonstrated for the frontline workforce in Clapping might be transitory and that it may not translate into workforce improvements and political commitment to further funding of health and social care. Some saw the value of Clapping as illustrative of community cohesion. There was little mention of Clapping for heroes, and where it was the notion of heroism was rejected. The demonstration of public support in Clapping for Carers may have directly benefitted the public, but only indirectly the workforce. Future recruitment data may help discern if public support has translated into a desire to join the workforce.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: coronavirus, Covid-19, carers, clapping, workforce, survey
Divisions: School of Sciences
Research Centres and Groups: Psychology Research Centre for Health and Cognition
Identification Number:
Date Deposited: 17 May 2021 17:30
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2022 11:52
URI / Page ID:
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)