East and North Herts NHS Trust: 78 per cent of staff say they work overtime because of short staffing

PUBLISHED: 06:58 29 November 2019

Nearly 80 per cent of staff at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust have reported that they work overtime due to short staffing.  Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Nearly 80 per cent of staff at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust have reported that they work overtime due to short staffing. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

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Nearly 80 per cent of staff at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust - which serves Lister and the New QEII Hospitals - have reported that they work overtime due to short staffing.

This was in response to trade union's UNISON survey, which found that 78 per cent of respondents go to work at least once a month feeling anxious that they will not be able to leave work on time - with 27 per cent feeling like this every day.

UNISON also found that 66 per cent report that their home life is affected by working beyond their finish time, while 78 per cent say they work overtime because of short staffing or too much to do in normal shift time (with 21 per cent not claiming time or money).

READ MORE: Staff at Lister Hospital in Stevenage and New QEII in Welwyn Garden City taking more and more sick days due to stress

In total, an NHS survey also found that East and North Herts staff do 5,280 hours of unpaid overtime every week, on top of 5,260 hours of paid overtime.

The news comes after the Welwyn Hatfield Times reported that stress-related sick leave being taken by staff at the two hospitals is increasing.

In total, 20.25 per cent of all sick leave by Lister and New QEII staff is down to stress - but this appears to be lower than the national average estimates by English employers' organisation NHS Employers.

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The data also cites a 2017 NHS survey that found over 38 per cent (36 per cent in 2016) of NHS staff reported that they had suffered from work-related stress.

There are a huge number of vacancies across the NHS, with 94,000 full-time equivalent advertised vacancies in hospital and community services alone between July and September 2018, according to the Nuttfield Trust.

In East of England this equates to an estimated shortfall of 9.46 per cent.

A spokesman for East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust said: "The trust recognises the challenges facing all those in healthcare, the importance of managing stress in the workplace and the impact it can have on the individual and an organisation.

"We are constantly monitoring the wellbeing of all our staff across the trust and have processes and procedures in place to respond effectively through our Health at Work service.

"We would welcome seeing the full survey from UNISON so we can work with them to identify new areas of focus to help reduce stress and anxiety levels."

- If you need someone to talk to you can call Samaritans for free at any time, 24 hours a day and from any phone, on 116 123.

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