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Record levels of workplace stress put staff and patients at risk

10 October 2016 - 3:33pm

The CSP is warning that workplace stress could damage the health of physio staff and put patients at risk. 

Managing pressures in practice

82 per cent of health services reps cite workplace stress as a top hazard

A TUC study published published today on World Mental Health Day shows that stress is the top health and safety concern in UK workplaces.

The TUC’s biennial survey of more than 1,000 health and safety reps around the UK asks them to pick out the hazards at work that most trouble them and their workforces.

Stress was at the top of the list in this year’s survey, with seven in 10 reps (70 per cent) citing it as a problem – an increase since 2014, when 67 per cent did so, and a higher proportion than in any previous TUC study.

Donna Steele, CSP’s health and safety officer, said: ‘Stress at work is bad for staff, bad for patients and bad for our NHS.

‘As CSP members we’re proud to practise physiotherapy to the highest standards. But more and more members are under pressure from increasing workloads, and the stress this causes compromises our members’ health and our patients’ safety.’

She added that employers have a duty of care to their employees to tackle workplace stress and should work in partnership with unions to find ways to reduce it.

The TUC study highlights that stress is one of the main causes of mental health problems, in particular anxiety and depression.

Its survey found that concern over workplace stress was higher in the public sector, where it was cited as a top five workplace hazard by

  • 93 per cent of central government reps
  • 89 per cent of education reps
  • 82 per cent of health services reps

Ms Steele advises CSP members who might be experiencing workplace stress to contact their health and safety rep.

‘Your safety rep can inspect your workplace, carry out a members’ stress survey and work with your steward to gather your views,’ she said.

‘Working together, you can organise to take control of workloads.’

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