Thousands of days lost due to staff signing off with stress at NHS hospitals in Sheffield

Thousands of days have been lost due to staff signing off with stress at NHS hospitals across Sheffield.

Monday, 8th January 2018, 3:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 8:20 am
Nearly 4,000 days were lost due to staff stress across NHS hospitals in Sheffield

There were 3.917 days lost due to stress - which equates to nearly 12,000 shifts.

Union chiefs said the figures 'doesn't come as a surprise' with nurses and other healthcare professionals working in 'excess of their contracted hours' providing 'last minute cover' and are 'propping up the NHS.

The Yorkshire branch of the Royal College of Nursing said the figures in Sheffield coincide with 3,000 unfilled nursing vacancies alone in the wider country and 40,000 across the country.

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But city hospital bosses said the figure was 'less then one per cent of the total number of days worked' while being England's second largest NHS trust.

They added staff had access to psychological services and mindfulness sessions.

Glenn Turp, regional director for the Royal College of Nursing in the Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Sadly this doesn’t come as a surprise. More and more nurses and staff across the NHS are feeling the ill health effects from being under constant pressure and stress. “There are over 40,000 nursing vacancies across England and 3,000 vacancies in Yorkshire and the Humber. High vacancies levels affects staff as they try to fill these gaps and deal with ever increasing patient demand.“Over stretched staff suffer the consequence personally. The RCN’s recent report ‘Safe and Effective Staffing: Nursing against the Odds’ highlighted that many nurses own health had been affected, with 36.7 per cent feeling unwell due to work-related stress.“This is another reminder for the Government of how NHS staff across the board are straining to hold things together. The Government needs to show that it values those working under immense pressure taking care of patients, when they are most vulnerable, people will be deterred from joining the nursing profession and others will feel no choice but to leave it.”

Mark Gwilliam, director of human resources at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We believe that for our staff to provide the best care to patients, we also need to take care of their health and wellbeing.

"We have 17,000 employees and our sickness levels are at the lowest levels for some time at 3.7% and sick days due to stress represent less than 1% of the total number of days worked.

"We want to do all we can to help staff cope with any stress from work or home circumstances which is why we have a number of free services to offer support including a specialist psychological service, free headspace app for all employees and mindfulness sessions. We also try to make the work environment as supportive as possible to enable our teams to manage stressful situations.”