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Tackling Stress in the NHS
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Stress in the NHS. A huge problem. Let's do something.
Stress in the NHS. A huge problem. Let's do something.

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Article in The Lancet about the pressures on the NHS and the impacts on staff wellbeing...
Link: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960470-6/fulltext
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An historic announcement today about Greater Manchester taking over control of £6 Bn NHS budget http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-31615218 but what will the impact be on staff stress and wellbeing? (Might be a good thing with greater autonomy, local involvement and engagement, but risks too with greater uncertainty about what happens if money runs out)... What do you think?
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More detailed comments from NHS Employers to NHS Staff Survey 2014...
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Here is NHS Employers response to the 2014 NHS Staff Survey results...
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The survey results for 2014 have just been published http://www.nhsstaffsurveys.com/Page/1006/Latest-Results/2014-Results/ with comment from NHS Employers. From a brief read... work pressures have increased; those experiencing work-related stress rose to nearly 40%; reported bullying, harassment and abuse increased; job satisfaction and motivation both fell. Some good news on support from line managers - satisfaction with this increased slightly.
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Health professionals appear to have the highest rates of stress amongst all professional groups (source: HSE), with nurses reporting particularly high rates of work related stress (2,630 cases per 100 000 people).
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What are the likely costs of stress-related absence in the NHS? We've an idea of the overall cost of sickness absence which has been put at £1.4 billion (source: NHS Employers). Conservatively, the proportion of this which is stress-related is probably in the region of 35% (higher for disabled staff), which would give us a figure of £490 million. Although overall absence has been declining, reported stress-related illness has been increasing.
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Some more great analysis from Quality Watch, this page focuses on staff working conditions (they analysed data from the NHS staff survey 2003 -2013 for this). Interestingly, sickness absence has been dropping in recent years but there are wide variations in professional groups. Reported work pressures haven't changed much, but reported extra hours (demands) have increased as have numbers reporting illness through work related stress. Disabled staff report much higher rates of stress-related illness.
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One of the biggest NHS pressures is on A&E. Check out the excellent infographic on this page, put together by Quality Watch (Nuffield Trust). The most shocking stat is the 32% increase in A&E attendances over 10 years...
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