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25.02.15

Four in 10 NHS staff ‘made unwell’ by work

Nearly 40% of NHS staff have been made unwell by work-related stress over the last 12 months, a sign that they are overwhelmed with demand, claims the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The NHS England 2014 staff survey revealed that 39% of staff have had time of due to work related stress in the last year. RCN said the extra hours staff have to work to meet the rising demand as a big contributing factor. The survey showed that 71% worked extra hours over the last 12 months.

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of RCN, said: “Staff are overwhelmed by demand, and the frustrations of patients means we are still seeing an unacceptably high number of assaults against staff.

“These are clear signals that the hard work of staff is papering over deep cracks in our NHS. The level of demand on health services has been clear to anyone who has had the misfortune of waiting for hours in A&E or being unable to access services in the community. To meet this huge level of demand we need a real culture change in the NHS, and that does not seem to be happening.”

More than a third of staff also revealed that they would not be satisfied with the standard of care provided by the NHS if a friend or relative needed treatment, a statistic that Unison finds “worrying”.

Jagtar Dhanda, head of inclusion at Macmillan Cancer Support, said that the survey shows “a picture of an NHS in England which still struggles to support, value and invest in the wellbeing and development of its staff”.

“Despite staff well-being remaining a high profile topic over the last few years, it seems that very little has actually changed in the working culture of the NHS,” he added.

More details from the staff survey can be found at NHE’s story here.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

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