There has been an upsurge in the number of days taken off by several paramedical staff in the UK due to mental health conditions.
An analysis that was made recently revealed that the amount of time taken off due to stress, anxiety, depression and other psychiatric illnesses has almost tripled over the last decade. About 52,040 days were taken off in 2019, an increase of 186 per cent from 2011.
It was also revealed that the number of days taken off per paramedic in a year rose from 2.8 to 5.8.
In order to deal with increased stress levels, NHS trusts came up with measures such as named psychologists, online therapy sessions, mindfulness training, chaplaincy support and “wellbeing rooms”.
A public service union, Unison, warned that the “crisis-level staffing has increasingly become a norm” in the NHS, amid the rise in demand, faster turnaround times and paucity of paramedical staff in England.
Union`s head of health, Sara Gorton, said: “Crisis-level staffing has increasingly become the norm within the NHS in recent years, even before the pandemic. Working long hours without breaks, in demanding conditions, it’s no wonder it’s taken a toll on the mental health of workers across the health service. And the coronavirus challenges have piled on more pressure.”
Of those who have been providing data, the trusts with the highest number of stress-related off days per paramedic were the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) NHS Trust, East of England Ambulance Service NHS trust, and North East Ambulance Service NHS foundation trust.
A spokesperson of the Department of Health and Social Care mentioned that supporting staff with mental health is now a prime concern.