NHS Employers acts to address stress in the workplace

More than six in 10 NHS organisations believe up to half of their staff may be suffering from workplace stress, research reveals.

The Workplace Stress in the NHS report, from NHS Employers, was published to coincide with the start of a campaign to help health service employers and their staff to recognise stress and deal with it effectively.

It found that 62% of respondents estimated that up to half of their employees might be under stress.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents had not carried out a stress risk assessment, or did not know if they had. Only 29% of respondents said their organisation had a stress policy, with just 6% saying they had plans for such a policy.

NHS Employers’ head of workplace health and employment, Julian Topping, said: “Stress has become one of the biggest causes of staff sickness and costs the NHS millions of pounds every year.

“Employers have a legal duty to manage stress among staff, and workers have a legal duty towards making sure they are safe and well,” Topping said.

“The main problem is that many people don’t recognise when they, or other employees in the organisation, are stressed until it is too late. If they do, they very often don’t know what to do about it.”

To promote its How Are You Doing? campaign, NHS Employers is sending packs containing awareness posters and booklets to every NHS trust in England. Information and advice will also be available online for employers and staff via the NHS Employers website.

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