STAFF at Coventry’s University Hospital are struggling to cope with ‘work related stress’ and the ‘pressure’ of their roles, NHS figures show.
As part of a national NHS survey, staff from each of the 309 NHS organisations – a total of 1.1million workers – responded to questions on aspects of their roles including health and wellbeing, working patterns and job satisfaction.
It revealed staff members are generally dissatisfied with their salaries, believe short staffing affects their ability to perform and feel ill due to the pressure of their roles.
The report on University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) Trust found nearly two-fifths (38 per cent) of staff felt unwell due to work-related stress in the last 12 months – and this is above the national average for acute trusts.
Only 49 per cent of staff felt satisfied with the opportunities for flexible working patterns and 73 per cent said they regularly work extra hours – while 57 per cent said they regularly work extra hours unpaid.
Nearly half (48 per cent) of staff agreed understaffing is an issue that affects their ability to perform their roles.
And only 60 per cent look forward to going to work.
Satisfaction with pay among staff at the trust has dropped 5 per cent on last year with only 30 per cent happy with their salaries.
The survey comes as NHS staff have been offered a pay deal which would end the one per cent pay cap in place in since 2010.
When asked whether staff at the trust could deliver the care they aspired to only 69 per cent agreed – a 4 per cent drop on last year.
Although in line with the national average, the trust’s rate of staff who would recommend the organisation as a place to work or receive treatment has also dropped.
Similarly, it found staff satisfaction with the quality of work and care they are able to deliver has fallen.
The British Medical Association council chair Chaand Nagpaul said the survey reveals the ‘human cost’ of pressures on the health service.
He said: “These new figures reflect the reality faced by doctors who are working under impossible conditions with widespread staff shortages, a lack of capacity in their workplaces and a chronically underfunded NHS.
“It is clear from this survey that despite immense pressures, NHS staff continue to go above and beyond, often working long past the end of exhausting shifts without additional pay, with nearly four in 10 reporting work related stress in the past year.
“Over half have ignored their own health concerns and turn up to work when unwell. Heavy workloads often lead to stress and burnout which can compound recruitment and retention problems.
“Doctors working under these pressures and enduring work related ill health cannot be good for patient care.
“We are calling on politicians to act now – we urgently need a long-term solution to the staffing and funding pressures facing the NHS, otherwise it simply won’t be able to provide the safe and high-quality care that patients deserve and that doctors want to deliver.”
A spokesperson from UHCW said: “The annual NHS staff survey is an indicator of how we’re doing as an employer in the hospitals and services that we manage.
“We do not feature in the bottom 20 per cent of acute trusts for any of the indicators, and we are at or above the national average for most. We are also in the top 20 per cent for acute trusts for three areas of the survey.
“Nevertheless, we recognise that there are areas where we can improve. We have a full package of support available to all staff to improve their health and wellbeing inside and outside work. This includes offering mindfulness sessions, green gyms on both our hospital sites, exercise classes and counselling, which is available through our Occupational Health service.
“As part of our work with the Virginia Mason Institute, we are also focusing on improving patient safety and learning from incidents. We are pleased to see that this work is already being reflected in this year’s survey, as well as the work we have done to improve our staff appraisal process.”