Unhappy hospital staff working in Lincolnshire say they feel underpaid, short-staffed and sick with stress.
The results of the latest NHS staff survey have revealed workers at United Lincolnshire Hospital’s Trust are increasingly feeling the strain from being under pressure – with one in eight admitting they rarely or never look forward to going to work.
And more than half of staff (54.5 per cent) feel there are not enough employees at the trust for them to be able to carry out their job properly with one in six staff admitting they are not able to deliver the care they want to give.
The worrying figures continue, as 39 per cent of staff said they had felt unwell due to work-related stress last year – up from 34.8 per cent in 2016.
The survey results has led to bodies representing NHS staff calling on the government to recognise that staff are working under “impossible conditions” and that their goodwill and dedication could not be “a replacement for adequate funding and proper workforce planning”.
The results show that for staff at acute trusts, one in nine rarely or never look forward to going to work.
And the worrying figures continue, as two fifths of staff (39 per cent) said they had felt unwell due to work-related stress in 2017 – up from 34.8 per cent in 2016.
One in six members of staff said they were not able to deliver the care they aspired to.
The proportion saying they have felt unwell due to work related stress has grown from 35.2 per cent in 2016 to 36.8 per cent in 2017.
One of the biggest increases found in the survey compared to last year was in dissatisfaction with levels of pay, rising from 32.5 per cent saying they were dissatisfied or strongly dissatisfied in 2016 to 44.6 per cent in 2017. This is the highest level in years.
NHS staff in England have been offered a pay deal which would end the one per cent pay cap they have experienced in recent years.
The deal would see around half of staff getting an increase of 6.5 per cent over three years, with bigger increases of up to 29 per cent for some groups within the NHS.
Martin Rayson, director of HR and organisational development at ULHT, said: “The results are disappointing but not surprising considering the year ULHT has had.
“I’d like to thank all staff who took the time to complete a staff survey, which was higher than the previous year. We’re pleased staff wanted to share their views with us and that we have much more meaningful data to work with.
“ULHT Board are listening to staff. We already have plans in place to improve as an employer and support staff more such as investing in people’s health and wellbeing by rolling out Mental Health First Aid.
“Late last year, after the survey closed, we published our 2021 roadmap. ULHT’s ambition is to be a great Trust, to provide excellence in rural healthcare and to do this we know that we need to change and have a workforce who are proud to work for us. We hope this will give staff the hope and vision they are seeking.”
Approximately 1.1million NHS employees in England were invited to participate in the survey between September 2017 and November 2017, with staff sent a paper questionnaire or an email containing a link to an online questionnaire.
Responding to the NHS staff survey, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chairman, 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 work places 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.”
Janet Davies, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, added: “These figures bear out the warnings from frontline nurses – patient care standards are heading in the wrong direction and nursing staff will not accept it.
“But it also reveals the sharpest ever rise in dissatisfaction with pay, now standing at 45 per cent of the workforce – up by more than 7 per cent in a single year.
“It is a reminder that years of unfair pay deals have taken their toll and a meaningful rise is long overdue.
“When two-thirds of NHS workers say they cannot do their job properly due to understaffing, ministers must listen. Safe and effective staffing levels are crucial – standards of patient care rise and fall along with the number nurses on duty. Patients can pay the highest price when levels fall too low – legislation is needed to ensure accountability.
“More than half of NHS staff report working unpaid overtime every single week. Ministers must stop treating the goodwill and dedication of NHS staff as a replacement for adequate funding and proper workforce planning. Continuing down this path is unfair, and untenable.”