Increase In Ambulance Staff Off Work Due To Stress
Due to the stressful nature of their work ambulance staff have been taking more and more days off sick. Reports have shown that in the past five years the number of staff off-work due to stress has tripled rising from 61 to 217.
Although this number may not seem like a lot when looking at the overall impact this has had reports have estimated that a total of 48156 working days were lost in the last year alone raising much concern for the field.
Being such a high-demand service these increased rated of sickness have become problematic because it increases the stress on the remaining employees but also makes it more acceptable for staff to report stress-related illness. Therefore the cycle becomes a viscous one with employees taking days off due to stress in turn making other employees more stressed due to demand so that then they also have to take days off when others return which ultimately produces a domino effect.
With the amount of days being taken off due to sickness the team’s morale is equally as low as health. The volume of calls has also started to increase which means as has the pressure and with targets needing to be hit (in terms of calls responded to) the stress again piles on.
Not to mention the job involving such emotional components. One member of staff who chose to remain anonymous and worked for EMAS for over 15 years stated that you may have to go to the scene of a child’s death and then go straight on to the next job from there- something anyone would find extremely hard to overcome.
In October 2013 official concern was raised by health and safety and the service was labelled ‘at risk’ and ordered to implement strategies for improvement such as counselling. Officials have stated that now they have been made aware of the increasing stress-related illnesses they can make better improvements to support their staff. Some ambulance services have opted to employ more staff in order to reduce overall stress levels.
If you have been affected by stress due to the pressures of work contact MLS for advice on a claim!