Two in five NHS staff have felt unwell due to stress at work, survey finds

A survey by the Doctors’ Association UK has shown that over 40% of staff reported feeling unwell due to work-related stress; the number has been rising steadily since 2016.

NHS staff also reported experiencing discrimination at work from patients, relatives and other staff members. The staff believed that the most common reason for discrimination was being a member of an ethnic minority group.

Additionally, the Doctors’ Association was concerned that only 71.2 % of Black and Minority Ethnic staff said their organisation provides equal opportunities for their career development and promotion.

The chair of The Doctors’ Association UK,  Dr Rinesh Parmar said: “Whilst there have been many improvements seen in the NHS Staff Survey we are extremely concerned that staff are reporting increasing levels of discrimination, in particular from patients, relatives and members of the public.”

Dr Parmar, who is also an anaesthetic doctor said that BAME doctors made up a valued part of their workforce, as do the International Medical Graduates, without them the NHS would collapse

He added: “Many BME doctors have told us they do not feel welcome in the UK anymore and there is no doubt this a reflection of this government’s hostile environment.

“We must do more to value BAME staff as well as those who have trained abroad, without whom the NHS would simply cease to function.”

Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, the Co-Founder of DAUK and an intensive care doctor said: “It is extremely worrying that nearly half of all respondents to the NHS staff survey reported feeling unwell with stress just in the last 12 months. The fact that this number is rising year on year should be a red flag to this government, especially at a time when the NHS is short of 100,000 frontline staff.

“Doctors have repeatedly told us they do not feel cared for by their workplaces, and that spiralling workloads are contributing to occupational stress and burnout. ”

Dr Batt- Rawden told that both physical and mental health interventions such as yoga and mindfulness are put forward to try and address this problem but those programmes would not fix the core issue.

She added: “What NHS staff need are real improvements to their working conditions if the government has any hope of stemming the haemorrhage of staff out the NHS.”

Full story in The Doctors’ Association UK, 18 February 2020