Longer hours, more stress at Sheffield hospitals

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STAFF at Sheffield’s largest hospitals are enduring longer hours, are more stressed-out and reporting fewer medical blunders - but a higher than average number would still recommend their workplace to patients.

According to the newly-published NHS Staff Survey, the number of workers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust receiving health and safety training has dropped by 15 per cent over the last year.

The number suffering stress has risen, while 64 per cent said they had completed extra hours, up from 52 per cent in 2011.

But fewer workers than the national average reported bullying from fellow staff.

Over 1,000 employees took part in the survey, which covered 2012 and is designed to flag up key areas for improvement.

Elsewhere, the number of people working longer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital increased by nearly 10 per cent from the previous year.

Only four per cent said they had experienced discrimination, 95 per cent said they would report a medical error and job enthusiasm met the national average.

Meanwhile, at Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust, job satisfaction had increased since 2011 and staff engagement was higher than average.

However, stress was up by over 10 per cent and health and safety training down 20 per cent.

Charlie Carruth, Unison regional organiser, said the drop in health and safety training was ‘disturbing’ and that longer hours are ‘impacting on morale’.

Sir Andrew Cash, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ chief executive, said he was pleased with some of the results, but added: “The survey also highlights areas where we need to continue to support our staff.”

Figures showing numbers of staff who had been on health and safety training were lower following the introduction of a new system to reduce unnecessary training, he added.

Steven Ned, director of human resources at the children’s hospital, said the poll was an ‘invaluable opportunity’ to canvass workers’ views.

Staff survey in numbers:

Staff working longer hours at Northern General, Royal Hallamshire, Weston Park - 64%

Number of Sheffield NHS employees who took part in the annual staff survey - 1,142

Workers who said they would report a medical error at the children’s hospital - 95%