Rise in Birmingham NHS staff absences linked to stress
The number of Birmingham NHS staff taking time off with stress has been soaring during the pandemic. The trust running Queen Elizabeth and Heartlands hospitals has seen the amount of staff absent from work due to stress, anxiety and depression rise by approximately 50% since the pandemic got underway. Much of this stress has been linked to the harrowing experiences staff have undergone whilst on the wards.
A substantial increase in absences
Bosses at the trust say they have been introducing support measures to help employees cope. In September, 646 staff took time off work due to stress, depression and anxiety. In February 2020, just 439 staff working for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust (UHB) were absent from work for these reasons. The amount of staff away from work in September was more than any other point during the pandemic. 2,800 Covid-related deaths have occurred at hospitals ran by the trust.
A spokeswoman for the trust said: “We are aware that staff absences due to stress, anxiety and depression have increased, in particular during the last 12 to 18 months, largely due to the impact of the pandemic”. She said the trust had been working to introduce a range of bespoke services to help “specific groups of staff”. According to the spokeswoman, these are focused on wellbeing and early intervention. She says the trust “wholeheartedly” thanks staff for their efforts.
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