Stress in the workplace

Reception ladies

Stress is believed to account for over 30 per cent of sickness absence in the NHS, costing the service £300-400 million per year. The latest NHS annual survey found that 30 per cent of NHS staff reported that they had suffered from work related stress. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines stress as an adverse reaction that people have to excessive pressures or other types of demands placed on them. Stress can happen in different ways in different NHS organisations but there are common factors that can lead to stress and poor health.

Some NHS staff have to deal with violent and unpredictable patients, others deal with traumatic and harrowing circumstances, others have a lack of support or are not receiving enough communication about changes affecting them. The most important fact is the impact on the individual and how they feel able to manage those feelings.

Research into what increases and decreases stress in the workplace (Oct 2012)

The Health, Safety and Wellbeing Partnership Group (HSWPG) commissioned Zeal Solutions to conduct research in a variety of settings within the NHS to see what increased and decreased stress within the workforce.  The report 'Health and wellbeing in healthcare settings' was published in October 2012 and provides a summary of the research findings. An underpinning philosophy for the report was to identify and detail positive messages that provide an indication of where and how improvements can be made to enhance health and wellbeing.

In this section of our website you can find more information about the report's findings under the following headings:

Download the full report Health and wellbeing in healthcare settings.

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