Main cause of sick days for NHS staff at Bassetlaw Hospital revealed

Bassetlaw Hospital
Bassetlaw Hospital

Stress, depression, and other mental health problems are the main cause of sick days for NHS staff at the trust which runs Bassetlaw Hospital.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which operates the Worksop hospital, said it takes the “health and wellbeing of its colleagues very seriously”.

It also offers staff access to weekly classes and activities such as yoga and pilates to help them “stay healthy” and has a number of services which “support staff both physically and mentally”.

However, the UK’s largest healthcare workers’ union says “intolerable” working conditions are pushing NHS employees to breaking point.

Helga Pile, Unison deputy head of health, said staff were having to contend with intolerable work pressure, bullying, and intimidation and violence from patients.

She said: “It’s in all our interests to protect NHS workers.

“The government urgently needs to invest in the NHS to cut staff shortages and reduce burn-out, and workers suffering anxiety, depression and stress must get rapid access to mental health support services.”

Figures from NHS Digital show staff at the trust took 87,789 days of sick leave between December 2017 and November 2018.

Of these, 23,390 – more than a quarter – were because of stress, anxiety, depression, or other psychiatric illnesses.

Karen Barnard, trust director of people and organisational development, said: “With more than 6,600 members of staff, our sickness absence rate currently stands at 4.29 per cent, which is just short of last year’s regional average of 4.43 per cent for the Yorkshire and Humber, and largely in-line with other hospitals within the area.

“We have a number of services and interventions to access such as occupational health and talk listen care team who work to help teams through challenging times.

“And we have been rated ‘platinum’ for wellbeing at work.”