THE number of frontline ambulance service workers taking time off work with stress has soared.
In the past five years, figures have more than trebled, with the number of reported cases rising from 61 to 217.
Last year, 48,156 working days were lost due to medical staff being unable to report for duty at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).
One of the service’s latest board reports highlights sickness as an ‘area of concern’ – with rates across all staff exceeding six per cent for the past three recorded months on record.
Bosses at EMAS said the figures were down to increased strain in the job but also staff feeling more comfortable about reporting stress-related illnesses.
Dave Winter, the service’s assistant operations director, said:
“One of the things around stress-related sickness is a cultural thing. A few years ago, staff wouldn’t go sick with stress because they felt it was a slight on their ability. We recognise stress and post-traumatic stress disorder and we have better mechanisms in place.”