West Midlands Ambulance staff losing startling number of days due to stress

West Midlands Ambulance staff losing startling number of days due to stress

Stress accounted for almost a fifth of sick days among ambulance staff in the West Midlands last year.

New figures released by NHS Digital show that paramedics in our region took a total of 4,235 days off because of anxiety, stress, depression and other stress-related illnesses between July 2017 and June 2018.

That accounted for 19.1% of the total of 22,172 days lost for all reasons.

Separate workforce figures show there are a total of 2,671 full-time or equivalent staff at West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

It suggests each full-time paramedic is losing an average of 1.6 days a year to stress.Across England, stress related sickness was responsible for 21 per cent of all paramedic absences over the period.

These NHS services are affected by the snowy conditions today

Paramedics in the West Midlands were the least likely in the country to take days off due to stress, but it still accounted for 19 per cent of all absences in the region (1.6 days per ambulance staff member).

On the other hand, almost 30 per cent of sick days taken by paramedics in the East Midlands were because of stress (3.7 days per ambulance staff member).

 

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Ambulance staff work incredibly hard in a high-pressure environment and as the Long-Term Plan sets out, we are supporting them through faster access to mental health and physiotherapy services.”

“We are committed to improving staff wellbeing and with record numbers of staff working in the sector, it is positive to see the proportion of ambulance staff absence rates lowering every year for the past five years.”

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