Half of ambulance staff report '˜work-related stress'

More than half of all staff at the ambulance trust which covers Sussex said they felt unwell due to work-related stress, national NHS staff survey figures out today show.

Tuesday, 6th March 2018, 3:08 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:34 am
Across NHS staff in England, women are paid on average 23 per cent less than men, the figures show

The 59 per cent of South East Coast Ambulance Trust (SECAmb) staff surveyed who felt under stress during 2017 compares to the national average for ambulance trusts of 48 per cent.

In total, 41 per cent of SECAmb staff say they experienced harassment, bullying or abuse from staff, compared to the national average of 28 per cent.

Just 27 per cent would recommend it as a place to work (compared to the national average of 47 per cent).

And 46 per cent of ambulance staff said the care of patients is the organisation’s top priority (59 per cent average) and half of staff felt that their organisation acts on concerns raised by patients (62 per cent average).

Elsewhere, Western Sussex Hospitals Trust, which runs St Richard’s (Chichester), Worthing and Southlands (Shoreham), 83 per cent of staff said care of patients is their organisation’s top priority.

In total 78 per cent said their hospital acts on concerns raised by patients (73 per cent average); 72 per cent would recommend their organisation as a place to work (61 per cent average); and 81 per cent said if a friend or relative needed treatment, they would be happy with the standard of care provided (national average 71 per cent).

The results for the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust, which runs mental health and disabled services, showed that 75 per cent thought the care of patients is their organisation top priority; and 74 per cent said the organisation acts on concerns raised by patients, both close to national average.

56 per cent would recommend as a place to work, just below national average.

However, 77 per cent said they work extra hours, just above average, and staff satisfaction with the quality of work and care they are able to deliver at 3.70 (on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the highest), below the national average of 3.83.

For the Sussex Community Foundation Trust, 81 per cent feel the care of patients is the top priority and the same figure for the trust acting on concerns raised by patients; with 66 per cent saying they would recommend it as a place of work.

Nationally the results show:

n 31 per cent were satisfied with their level of pay

n 58 per cent of staff worked additional hours that were unpaid

n 38 per cent of staff reported feeling unwell due to work related stress

n 68 per cent said their immediate manager takes an interest in their health and wellbeing

n Staff reported lower satisfaction with the quality of work and care they are able to deliver


The results of NHS England’s latest Staff Survey 2017 are ‘challenging’, show that staff cannot absorb further work pressures, and show that investment is needed in health and social care services, according to NHS Employers’ chief executive Danny Mortimer.

He said: “Employers in the NHS have been anticipating worsening results from this most recent survey and sadly their concerns have been reflected in the outcome.

“The country needs to take these challenging results seriously.

“We cannot expect staff to absorb additional work pressures year on year without it having an adverse effect on their experience of work.

“A long-term solution to sustainable investment in the NHS – and other vital public services – is clearly required.

“It’s disappointing but understandable that staff are less satisfied with the standard of care they are able to provide and that they are feeling more stressed.

“I am however encouraged that staff continue to be willing to recommend the NHS as a place to be cared for.

“The fact that more staff feel their managers and organisations support their health and wellbeing is positive and is a result of long-standing efforts by employers to address workplace health issues.

“The increasing focus on supporting staff through mental health issues is clearly having a positive impact and we are keen to share the lessons learnt from the NHS with other employers.”

‘Haemorraging staff’

Unison boss Sara Gorton said: “It’s clear that wage freezes, and woeful pay rises below the rate of inflation, have taken their toll on NHS staff.

“If this isn’t addressed, the NHS is going to haemorrhage more staff.

“This not only puts further pressure on the remaining nurses, healthcare assistants and other NHS colleagues, but also ultimately affects patient care and safety.”