Nurses short of help for addictions

Nurses with addictions and eating disorders are being denied access to specialist counselling services, occupational health nurses were warned in December.

Delegates to the Royal Coll-ege of Nursing’s occupational health nursing conference in Shropshire heard that, of 550 trusts polled in a survey, just 56% reported that employees had any access to specialist services that would be able to provide counselling for trauma, addiction and eating disorders.

Barry McInnes, the RCN’s head of counselling services, warned that even when they were available some nurses were having to wait for up to a year to access services.

Many trusts did not have enough counsellors to comply with NHS guidelines which recommend one for every 2,000 staff members, he added.

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