Home U.K Half of frontline NHS staff battling crippling mental health crises

Half of frontline NHS staff battling crippling mental health crises

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More than half of its 1.3 million staff say their mental health has been affected by the pandemic. Of this, two thirds are reporting anxiety, while one third have been left fighting depression. The findings, revealed today in a major audit of health service staff, are the first clear evidence of the deep psychological impact of the greatest crisis in the institution’s 72-year history. It has seen NHS Charities Together set aside £125million to support staff and patients. But it says more cash is needed.

Chief executive Ellie Orton said: “The public showed overwhelming support for NHS staff over the last year and we need to continue to be there for them, now and in the longer term as it recovers from the most challenging time in its history.”

More than half of NHS staff surveyed in a major YouGov poll said their mental health had declined since the start of the pandemic, with 67 percent reporting anxiety and 35 percent depression.

The audit was carried out between March 5 and 10.

It suggests 871,000 health workers have been left shellshocked by the pandemic.

Some 61 percent blamed not being able to see friends and family for their fragile mental state, 31 percent said the reason was not being able to make plans for the future and concern about passing Covid-19 to someone close.

While 25 percent were left petrified about their increased risk of catching and being seriously affected by the virus and seeing the impact of on patients and their families.

NHS Charities Together has set about raising more cash to put long-term mental health support in place for staff.

Its Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, which launched last March, has so far raised £150million.

The bulk – which includes Captain Sir Tom’s fundraising millions – has been used to “significantly ramp up the mental health and wellbeing programmes and facilities for NHS staff across the UK as well as continuing to support patients”.

At Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust it has provided additional support for staff for their physical and mental wellbeing.

Angela Rimington, Covid-19 swabbing clinical administration officer, said: “We need to remain aware of what staff have been through and not let the support for them slip.

“It’s quite easy to think staff should be used to it, but they still need that support more than ever.”

NHS Charities Together is funding a range of projects supporting staff, including counselling services, helplines and intensive psychological support.

To donate visit www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk



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