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Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust staff taking time off due to stress

By Newsdesk Bury

Almost half of staff at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) who responded to a survey reported stress-related illnesses last year.

‘Alarming’ figures revealed in the 2018 NHS Staff Survey follow the mental health organisation being rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission for the third time.

The data showed 46 per cent of NSFT employees who responded to the survey felt unwell due to work-related stress in the preceding 12 months. And 63 per cent worked additional unpaid hours each week above their contracted hours.

The NHS trust was found 'inadequate' in its latest Care Quality Commission inspection
The NHS trust was found 'inadequate' in its latest Care Quality Commission inspection

Prof John Appleby, chief economist at healthcare charity the Nuffield Trust, said: “These pressures are not just a matter for staff but have a knock-on effect on patients too.

“This is an alarming downturn in the well-being of NHS staff.”

The survey received 2,073 responses from NSFT staff - 53 per cent of its total staff numbers - and both the 63 per cent and 46 per cent score are down from the 2017 figure by one per cent.

Across England, four out of 10 NHS workers reported feeling unwell due to stress in 2018.

Duncan Forbes, NSFT’s director of people and development, said: “We recognise that, as a specialist mental health trust, the work of our staff can be very challenging.

“We are saddened by the results and are committed to working with our staff to make positive improvements. As executive and senior leaders, we are holding a series of listening events with staff.”

He said a range of programmes were being offered to staff, including a counselling service.

Mr Forbes added: “We are reviewing our offering to ensure we provide the most impactful support.”

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