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Practice nurses and other primary care workers ‘worrying’ stress levels, poll finds

Nearly nine in ten practice nurses, GPs and other primary care workers find their work life stressful, leading to some to have suicidal thoughts, new research reveals.
Practice_nurse

Nearly nine in ten practice nurses, GPs and other primary care workers find their work life stressful, leading to some to have suicidal thoughts, new research reveals.

A poll of 1,000 NHS primary care workers by mental health charity Mind found one third feared that admitting how they feel will make them appear less capable, and two in five were worried that talking about their stress levels would hamper promotion prospects.

Some 88% of respondents said their work life was stressful, compared with 56% of the wider UK workforce, while one in 10 said job stress had prompted suicidal thoughts.

Unhealthy coping

The poll also showed staff were resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms for dealing with the stress of work, with two in five (42%) drinking alcohol at least

Nearly nine in ten practice nurses, GPs and other primary care workers find their work life stressful, leading to some to have suicidal thoughts, new research reveals.

Practice_nurse
Many nurses have suicidal thoughts due to stress according to a MIND survey. Picture: Alamy

A poll of 1,000 NHS primary care workers by mental health charity Mind found one third feared that admitting how they feel will make them appear less capable, and two in five were worried that talking about their stress levels would hamper promotion prospects.

Some 88% of respondents said their work life was stressful, compared with 56% of the wider UK workforce, while one in 10 said job stress had prompted suicidal thoughts.

Unhealthy coping

The poll also showed staff were resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms for dealing with the stress of work, with two in five (42%) drinking alcohol at least once a week to cope.

Nearly one in ten admitted smoking every day because of work worries.

Mind chief executive Paul Farmer said the figures painted a worrying picture.

'Everyone has mental health that needs looking after and this is just as true for GPs, nurses and their colleagues in primary care,' he added.

Better support

RCN professional lead for primary and community care Kathryn Yates said the results showed a need for better support.

She said: 'Much of these pressures are caused by chronic understaffing, but as these findings show they can also force many staff to leave, creating a negative cycle that leaves patients and staff let down by the health service.

'It’s not acceptable that so many staff feel unsupported or unable to talk about the causes of their stress. Health care providers must ensure that they are looking after their staff.

‘It is essential that staff feel able to seek support, especially in times of stress and uncertainty.'

 

 

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