Labour Research April 2016

Health & Safety Matters

Call for action over health of NHS staff

Health unions have called for action to improve the health of NHS staff after the latest annual survey of almost 300,000 NHS workers showed that over a third (37%) felt unwell due to work-related stress and pressure. And almost 50% of midwives had experienced work-related stress in the past year. Meanwhile, there were reports of musculoskeletal disorders from 25% of staff, rising to 42% among staff in ambulance trusts.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said that the latest NHS staff survey results were shocking but not surprising. RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick said that under-resourced and under-staffed services were a significant contributor to poor health.

She was responding to an announcement by NHS England concerning financial incentives aimed at improving the health of NHS staff.

UNISON public services union head of health Christine McAnea said that while the new NHS support scheme had the potential to make a real difference, “it won’t help them at all if staff don’t have the time to use the new services”.