The NHS is still failing to attach enough importance to the health and wellbeing of its nursing workforce, but the picture is improving, according to results from our latest annual survey.
It is now five years since the Boorman Review concluded there was a “strong case” for investing in NHS staff health and wellbeing.
But nearly two-thirds, 60%, of the nearly 750 survey respondents said their employer did not attach a high enough priority to staff health and wellbeing.
However, this year’s results do represent an improvement on last year, when 73% of respondents to our 2013 survey said their employer did not attach sufficient priority to staff wellbeing.
More than half of respondents, 54%, said they were unhappy with their work-life balance, compared to 63% last year. However, only around a third, 39%, thought they had the time and facilities at work to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Our survey – as in previous years – also asked readers about their views on exercise and weight.
There was a slight increase in those who considered themselves to be very overweight, from 8% last year to 11% this year, while 46% in 2014 thought they were overweight compared to 48% in 2013.
Our findings on exercise largely mirrored last year’s, with 5% of respondents saying they did muscle-strengthening and/or moderate/vigorous aerobic activity that raises your heart rate on a daily basis.
A quarter, 25%, did so once or twice a week and 16% three or more times a week. This compared with 27% who rarely or never did so, and a similar percentage said they did these types of exercise less than weekly.
This year we also included questions on alcohol consumption and smoking. The majority, 88%, said they did not smoke, while 10% said they smoked tobacco products and 2% used e-cigarettes.
Alcohol consumption was generally lower among respondents than the popular perception of hard-boozing NHS staff suggests.
For example, among women 40% of women said the consumed only one to seven units a week and 37% of men between one and 10, while 30% of both men and women did not drink at all.
At the other end of the scale, only around 5% of women admitted to drinking more than 25 units a week and 4% of men drank over 31 units.
|1. Are you happy with your work-life balance?|
|2. Does your employer attach a high enough priority to staff health and wellbeing?|
|3. Have you taken more or less sick leave in the past 12 months than you would normally take?|
|A bit more||16.24%|
|A bit less||6.09%|
|4. Have you felt under pressure from your organisation to come to work when you were feeling unwell this year?|
|5. If a colleague is off sick are their shifts covered:|
|Most of the time||21.41%|
|6. Do you regularly work more than your allotted hours?|
|Yes, by 1-5 hours per week||44.11%|
|Yes, by 6-10 hours per week||21.79%|
|Yes, by 10-15 hours per week||8.39%|
|Yes 15+ hours per week||5.14%|
|No, I usually work my allotted hours||17.59%|
|No, I always work my allotted hours||2.98%|
|7. Are you working noticeably longer hours than this time last year?|
|No, about the same||54.88%|
|8. Have you found you have suffered the side-effects of work-related stress, such as physical or mental health problems in the past year?|
|9. Do you have time and facilities at work to eat a healthy, balanced diet?|
|10. Do you consider yourself to be:|
|11. Do you do muscle-strengthening and/or moderate/vigorous aerobic activity that raises your heart rate:|
|Three or more times a week||16.11%|
|Once or twice a week||24.70%|
|Less than weekly||26.98%|
|12. Do you smoke?|
|Yes, cigarettes or similar tobacco products||10.23%|
|No, I gave up recently||2.96%|
|No, I gave up ages ago||27.05%|
|No, I’ve never smoked||58.01%|
|13. If you are male, how many units of alcohol do you drink per week?|
|So many I’ve lost count||2.63%|
|None, I don’t drink||37.72%|
|14. If you are female, how many units of alcohol do you drink per week?|
|So many I’ve lost count||1.06%|
|None, I don’t drink||30.36%|