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Time needed to nurse fatigue, stress

By BO LEUNG in London | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-05-04 08:20

National Health Service workers hold banners demanding a pay rise at Downing Street in London on March 7. GUY SMALLMAN/GETTY IMAGES

"This must be underpinned by urgent investment to address longstanding vacancies in nursing and other key professions-this is at the root of the long-term workload pressures facing the NHS and its people," he said.

With a massive backlog of delayed treatments and surgeries for non-COVID-19 patients, the confederation said there is a real risk that exhausted NHS workers may leave unless they are allowed time to recover.

According to a report by the Lancet, healthcare workers are known to be at risk for anxiety, depression, burnout, insomnia, moral distress, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

It said that under usual working conditions, severe burnout syndrome affects as many as 33 percent of critical care nurses and up to 45 percent of critical care physicians.

The British Medical Association echoed the sentiments of the NHS, saying that the pandemic has left the health service running on empty with burned out and disillusioned healthcare workers. Some even considered leaving the NHS as a result of the intense pressure and stress over the past year.

In its report released in March, the association argues that pushing doctors to "get the NHS back to normal" without giving them the respite and support they need will not only result in increasingly high absence rates and staff reducing their hours, but will also threaten patient care and safety.

According to the latest BMA tracker survey published in February, more than half of the respondents reported a worse state of overall health and well-being than during the first wave of the pandemic, while two-thirds reported higher than normal levels of exhaustion or fatigue.

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