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Survey Shows 76% of NHS Staff have Faced Mental Health Challenges

The survey revealed that 76 percent of NHS staff have experienced mental health issues in the past year, such as anxiety, low mood, and exhaustion.

A survey commissioned by NHS Charities Together and conducted by YouGov, involving 1,078 NHS staff, found that more than three quarters of respondents had struggled with poor mental health.

Among the respondents, 52 percent reported anxiety, 51 percent had low moods, and 42 percent experienced exhaustion.

NHS Charities Together’s chief executive, Ellie Orton, stated that NHS staff face daily challenges and often deal with traumatic events, which can take a toll on their mental health due to the nature of their work.

She mentioned that many NHS Trusts are taking steps to prioritize the mental health and well-being of their staff, but more efforts are needed to address the issue effectively.

According to an NHS England spokesperson, mental well-being is a crucial aspect of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which offers various mental health support services such as coaching, well-being resources, and flexible working options.

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The survey findings highlighted that 31 percent of NHS staff had taken time off work in the past year due to mental health issues, as indicated by a survey conducted by UNISON.

Additionally, the survey revealed that a significant number of health workers, including nurses, porters, and call handlers, reported experiencing symptoms of depression, low moods, and physical stress like high blood pressure and panic attacks.

The majority of respondents expressed that improved pay and recognition, along with measures to address workplace bullying and harassment, and changes in work patterns, could positively impact their mental well-being.

Almost Half of NHS Staff Seeking Work Elsewhere

Recent research has shown that a considerable number of NHS staff are exploring opportunities outside the health service due to factors like stress, pay, workload, and staff shortages.

A study by the University of Bath revealed that nearly half (47 percent) of NHS staff have considered looking for work beyond the health service, with a significant percentage actively inquiring about non-NHS employment.

Efforts are being made by NHS England to retain and support its staff by offering more flexible options and enhancing occupational health services to address mental health concerns.

A Third of Doctors Considering Practicing Abroad

Findings from a General Medical Council (GMC) poll indicated that approximately a third of doctors in the UK are considering relocating abroad in the next year to practice medicine.

The survey highlighted reasons such as seeking increased pay and feeling undervalued professionally as key factors prompting doctors to consider emigration.

Efforts are in place to improve the working environment for NHS doctors, including providing better support, enhancing line management, and increasing access to flexible working options.

Despite intentions to leave, there is a recognized gap between the desire to emigrate and actual action, with various reasons driving healthcare professionals to seek opportunities abroad.

PA Media contributed to this report.

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