Two and a half years after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, UK hospital staff are still reeling from the effects of the continuing wave of illness.
Staff are battling simultaneous crises in emergency and non-urgent care as the rising and falling numbers of COVID-19 cases increase demand for services and limit the available workforce.
New data from the country’s National Health Service shows that anxiety, stress and depression are the most common causes of absenteeism among public health workers in the UK.
Experts are calling on the UK government to increase staff numbers and improve worker compensation as the cost of living in the country soars.
Many health care workers have also voted on whether to strike over pay, with unions deeming recent wage increases too small to keep up with rising inflation.
The NHS Providers, a trade group representing managers of the National Health Service, criticized the “psychological strain” placed on staff across the sector.
Interim CEO Saffron Cody said: “Some 65,000 NHS workers took sick leave in September as a result of severe staff shortages, increased demand for services and rising costs of living. It shows how much pressure you are under.
“Anxiety, stress and depression accounted for approximately 477,000 days away from work in June, accounting for more than one-fifth of sickness absences. It reveals the mental strain on the community, the staff of the emergency services.”
The high number of vacancies has made it difficult for managers to balance staff health and sickness absenteeism, prompting government leaders to “recruit and retain the personnel the NHS so desperately needs and relieve the burden on current staff.” We asked for relief,” she added.
This would not be possible without a “adequately spent and funded” National Workforce Plan, she said.
Long-term staffing concerns are nothing new for England, with major plans reportedly shelved last month over funding concerns. Independent report.
Organizations such as the NHS Providers and the NHS Confederation have expressed concern that the ongoing political turmoil in the UK will delay or hinder important policy decisions.
The workforce plan, first pledged by former Health Secretary Sajid Habid, was due to be unveiled in October.But according to senior sources Independent It never saw the light of day until at least Christmas.