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NHS, Private & Social Care Staff in Burnout

Sad Nurse

Nicola Knight burn out, burnout, work life balance...

Burnout among NHS, Private & Social Care workers is at a critical level MP’s have warned. The situation has been described as ‘fragile’ with research highlighting heavy workloads and the physical and emotional demands on the workers impacting personal lives and relationships. Workers are facing illness, including increased cardiovascular disease, depression, and obesity. (WHO, 2020)

Even before Covid was even a concern, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) stated that there was a shortage of 50,000 nurses within the NHS, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists emphasised that the biggest cause of workforce burnout across mental health services was the lack of staff.

Since Covid, a survey by the IPPR Think Tank has revealed some deeply concerning statistics:

  • 330,000 Healthcare workers are more likely to leave the NHS.

  • 49% worked an under-staffed shift on a weekly basis.

  • 49% reported being unable to provide the level of patient care they would like to.

  • 67% reported being mentally exhausted on at least a weekly basis.

  • 23% turned to alcohol and/or drugs to help them deal with the stress.

Private & Social Care also faces a very similar situation, with Skills for Care having estimated that there were 7.3% of roles in adult and social care vacant, which equated to approximately 112,000 vacancies. 

When people are feeling mentally exhausted, there are a few self-help measures they can take to try and prevent burnout. One of the key areas for health and social care workers to focus on will be lifestyle management. 

With many health and social care workers working 12-hour shifts, these can be even more intense when the shift is short-staffed. It also makes personal downtime difficult if looking at the recommended 8 hours sleep time, and the commute to and from work, the day is over. 

For workers employed via a hospital or a care home, shift patterns might not be the best suited for you. These can include long and unsociable hours and working holidays.

The work-life balance can be difficult to manage when a hospital and care home is open 365 days of the year. But there are other factors that contribute to burnout. Some of the most commonly reported reasons also include:

  • Lack of support from management.

  • Too much red tape with hospital politics.

  • Not enough opportunity to expand on skills and experience.

  • Lack of fulfillment.

  • Pay and holidays.

In a discussion with our agency staff, these reasons are often highlighted for the move to agency work.

Whilst the emotional and physical toll is taken on health and social care workers, many continue to put themselves through the weekly turmoil. 

What will you do if they quit your job? 

For many people, it is the fear of the unknown and financial commitments that build a resistance to change. But quite often, when people do make the change and move to agency work, they often wonder why they allowed themselves to burnout.

In many Agency Nurse/Healthcare Forums on Social Media, you will often see people vocalising that they would never consider moving back to direct employment.

The roles of health and social care workers are demanding and challenging. Regardless of the employment route, this will always be the case. As an agency, however, we work with all of our healthcare workers to try to eliminate the factors that lead to burnout.

The Government might be addressing healthcare burnout as a result of the Covid pandemic, but sadly, burnout was the leading health concern for healthcare workers long before Covid hit the world. Covid simply enhanced the stress levels and pressures faced, and it is expected to be many more years of struggles before the rewards and respect are visible amongst our healthcare services.

To tackle burnout head-on, you need to make the necessary changes for your own health and wellbeing.

The job opportunities for agency workers are vast and there are many benefits of becoming an agency healthcare worker or nurse. We wanted to highlight some of the benefits that we offer at Vetro for our agency workers:

  • Flexibility to work where and when you want, with competitive rates of pay.

  • The opportunity to work in a variety of settings and in different roles, gaining fantastic experience along the way.

  • Holiday pay and contributory pension.

  • A variety of work including the NHS & Private Hospital Work, ad-hoc to block bookings.

  • Comprehensive free online training.

  • 24/7 assistance from the Vetro Health & Social Care team.

  • Vetro Mobile App for instant access to shifts, booking the shifts you want, add your availability, get directions, and submit timesheets.

  • Entry into our £1000 Golden Ticket prize draw.

  • Worker of the month recognition and bonus.

  • Up to £250 in high street vouchers for referring friends or family

If you feel agency work is for you, please get in touch with us today at enquiries@vrecruitment.co.uk. You can also browse some of our testimonials here