This is a summary of chapter 25 - NHS staff. It was written by Dr Chess Denman a Consultant Psychiatrist in psychotherapy at Addenbrookes hospital where she runs the Complex Cases service which specialises in the treatment of personality disordered patients. Dr Denman is the secretary of the Royal College Faculty of Psychotherapy, a member of the Society of Analytical Psychology and a founder member of the Association of Cognitive Analytic Therapists.
Mr Daniel Barnett a leading Barrister in employment law and author of three employment law textbooks, including co-author of the Law Society Handbook on Employment Law. He has advised and defended a number of NHS trusts in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. He frequently comments in national and specialist press on employment law matters. Also Dr Colin Payton a Consultant Occupational Physician and Clinical Director of Occupational Health and Safety at the Royal United Hospital, Bath.
This chapter describes how the NHS (the fifth largest employer in the world) has reported 36% of their staff have suffered work-related stress. Psychological ill health remains potentially the most serious problem for the health and well-being of NHS staff. What does not emerge from the statistical and survey data are the human stories which surround psychological ill health in hospital staff, many of whom are there caring for others. Doctors take the fewest days off sick but have high rates of suicide. It also seems unfortunate that there are increasing numbers of health care workers with alcohol misuse problems and more recently with other substance misuse problems.
With this in mind this chapter provides some positive suggestions for change in relation to improving the care of the nation’s carers. They fall into two categories. First, improved access to psychological care and second, more employee focused employment procedures.
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