Today The Guardian reports on a Royal College of Nursing survey into levels of stress amongst 2,000 NHS and private sector nurses. Some of the nurses participating give dire accounts of their working lives when it comes to sickness and time off due to ill-health. Here is a snip from today’s paper:
The RCN said many of the nurses questioned reported that sickness absence policies at their place of work were so punitive that they had no alternative but to attend work despite feeling unwell.
One of the nurses told the RCN: “I’ve been told that if I don’t meet the 100% attendance at work I will be up for a capability hearing. I had three admissions into hospital due to a cardiac problem, so if I get chest pain I have to ignore it because I have to go to work.”
Another said: “I am currently off work following breast cancer. A senior manager called three weeks after my surgery and asked if I was coming back as people with cancer often don’t return and they wanted to fill my post.”
As someone who has investigated stress and burnout in nurses in the past I am interested to know more of this survey (or ‘poll’, as it is described). I can’t find anything in the Guardian‘s news report on the type of study which has been conducted, and I’m turning up a blank when I navigate to the RCN website for a full report. Perhaps I’m missing something?