According to a report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), 38 per cent of NHS staff suffer from work-related stress and only 65 per cent of trusts have staff health and well-being plans in place.
The report, Work and Wellbeing in the NHS: why staff health matters to patient care, says that high quality patient care relies on skilled staff who are not only physically and mentally well enough to do their jobs, but also feel valued, supported and engaged.
This suggests that in order to ensure patent safety including reduced Methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infection rates and lower patient mortality rates there needs to be excellent staff health, well-being and engagement throughout all NHS trusts across England.
In addition, patient satisfaction rates are higher and patient experience is better where an NHS workforce is engaged and healthier. Likewise, NHS organisations rated as having ‘poor’ staff health and well-being were found on average to be among the 25 per cent worst performers on measures of patient satisfaction.
The RCP estimate that, 700,000 NHS employees are also obese, while only 28 per cent of NHS trusts in England reported that they have a plan or policy in place to help reduce obesity amount staff.
RCP clinical adviser on NHS workforce health, Dr Sian Williams, said: “Now that we have clear evidence that the health of NHS staff affects the quality of care that patients receive, it is time to move beyond short term, one-off initiatives to help staff improve their health at work. Trusts must consider staff health in all that they do; this includes the design of buildings, the work environment, and the work itself. Most importantly it includes the way staff are managed.”
To access the full report, click here.