Welcome to my Blog. I hope you find the posts interesting, informative and perhaps even entertaining(!). I'll update this Blog with my responses to topical stories of the day, important news and tales of my travels up and down the UK, meeting our inspirational nursing staff.

The RCN represents almost 400,000 nurses in the UK and is the country's largest nursing union.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The health of our health workers...

The Interim Boorman Review has been published today and it exposes worrying facts about the health and well-being of NHS staff. Dr Steve Boorman, who led the report, found a large number of staff suffer from work related stress.

I must say that despite the fact these findings are deeply worrying, they are not surprising. NHS staff are routinely found to be some of the most stressed workers in Britain. A report in April found that NHS staff are four times more likely as people in other occupations to be absent from work due to stress. The data showed that in 17 trusts, stress and related problems made up 15% of all sickness absence in 2008.

The reports in the papers today point out that if the sickness levels in the NHS were reduced by one third, it would save £555 million. However, this problem isn’t just one of finances and efficiency savings – it’s about the health of the people who save lives and treat the sick. Investing in the health of NHS staff has an undeniable link to the delivery of quality patient care.

As I said in a press statement today, the NHS has a legal and moral duty to ensure that staff are protected from the work related causes of ill health and are given opportunities to improve their own health.

We’ve heard much over the last week about how much the NHS has done for the people of the UK. We need to ensure that the staff who do so much for us are given the treatment and support they deserve.

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