STRESS is the number one cause of staff sickness at hospitals in the area.
South Warwickshire Foundation Trust – which runs Warwick, Leamington, Stratford and Shipston hospitals – says along with general coughs and colds, stress is the highest reason for staff absence.
This echoes national causes, with a survey by NHS England showing nearly 40 per cent of staff have suffered work-related stress over the past year.
The trust says it has been working to try and understand what was triggering stress and to make changes to patient care which would also reduce the amount of pressure on staff.
But SWFT says it was important to remember the reasons for staff suffering from stress were not only due to work.
A spokeswoman told the Observer: “Stress related sickness, along with general coughs and colds, is one the highest reasons for absence in the Trust. This is also reflected in the national picture across the whole of the NHS.
“Stress is not always work -related, there can be a number of factors that contribute to individuals experiencing higher levels of stress.”
Staff stress costs the NHS around £400million annually – and the trust says it is offering people help with their mental health and wellbeing along with making improvements by listening to those affected.
The trust spokeswoman added: “There are a number of support mechanisms in place including an on-going programme to help managers identify and support staff with stress, as well as a dedicated occupational health department and a staff support service, which individuals can refer themselves to.”