Thousands of NHS workers suffering from stress

By Jack Averty | Health | Published:

Thousands of NHS workers across the region are suffering from stress-related illnesses, new figures show.

Thousands of NHS workers are suffering or have suffered from stress

Around 40 per cent of staff at healthcare trusts across the Black Country and Staffordshire reported stress-related illnesses last year, with half of these admitting they felt pressured into turning up to work despite feeling like they could not cope.

Experts say the figures indicate an "alarming downturn" in the well-being of healthcare workers as the pressure continues to mount on staff at the heart of the crisis-hit NHS.

In Wolverhampton, 36 per cent of the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust's staff said they had felt unwell due to work-related stress over the last 12 months.

At the University Hospitals of North Midlands, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust that figure was 42 per cent.

Around half of those in the region who said they suffered from a stress-related illness admitted they had felt pressured into turning up at work despite feeling too unwell to cope.

Unison's head of health Sara Gorton said government ministers were not paying enough attention to growing problems within the NHS.

She added: "With so few staff, it's no wonder the pressures of working in the NHS are making so many health workers ill."

The results from the 2018 NHS survey, which revealed the extent of stress-related staff illnesses across the region, also show that staff are facing verbal and physical abuse by members of the public and patients.


Around a quarter of staff who responded to the NHS Survey said they had experienced this.

Professor John Appleby, the chief economist at healthcare charity the Nuffield Trust, said: "After years of holding up against all the odds, these figures confirm an alarming downturn in the well-being of hard-working NHS staff.

"These pressures are not just a matter for staff themselves but have a knock-on effect on patients too."

Across England, four out of 10 NHS workers reported feeling unwell due to stress in 2018 – the highest level in five years.

Neil Churchill, director of patient experience at NHS England, said: "Whilst there are a number of positives in this year's survey, it is also clear that local employers can do more to improve.

"We would expect all trusts to listen to the results from their staff survey and take appropriate action."

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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