HSE orders NHS Trust to improve stress management practices

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has ordered an NHS Trust to improve its stress management practices.

The HSE issued an improvement notice against United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust – only the second ever issued for work-related stress.

Employers have now been warned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to improve how they manage stress at work.

Ben Willmott, CIPD senior public policy adviser, said the improvement notice showed that the HSE would not shy away from taking action when employers fail to meet their stress management obligations under health and safety law.

“It is in employers’ interests to take action by using staff surveys to identify potential problems, training line managers to manage people properly, and by ensuring there is access to occupational health services.”

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust said it was already working on action plans to tackle the issue.

In July 2003, following complaints about bullying and long working hours at West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust, an HSE inspection found that West Dorset had no stress policy in place and had not undertaken a risk assessment for work-related stress.

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