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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 April 2013

Fight the attacks on NHS working conditions

Sharon Mitchell, Brighton

The 2012 staff survey results from the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are even worse than the previous year's results, which were grim enough.

Beleaguered staff report a rise in work related stress, from 35%to 49% of the workers surveyed. Staff do not feel that the organisation appreciates their difficulties, with 67% of respondents (up from 45%) saying their health and wellbeing is not protected.

Communications with management continue to be strained, with Sussex Partnership achieving just over half the score of the best performing mental health Trust, which again places it in the bottom 20% in the country.

16% of staff have experienced discrimination in 2012, up from 12% in the previous year. At the same time, the number of staff receiving adequate equality and diversity training sank from 48% to 33%.

25% of respondents report being bullied by a colleague and, shockingly, 8% of workers have been physically attacked by a co-worker, up from 2% in 2011.

24% of respondents feel pressure to work when they are sick, up from 19% last year.

The Trust board bleat about creating a culture of support and compassion in line with the Francis report into the Stafford Hospital scandal, yet continue to foster a climate of fear and abuse by dismantling already poor pay and conditions, and failing to protect the health and safety of workers on the front line.

Inadequate staffing levels and 12-hour shifts compromise patient care and destroy workers' health and morale.

There is no need for this wretched situation to be repeated again next year. Fight for a democratic NHS that acknowledges the needs of both service users and staff, one that is fully funded for all people. Fight every threat to this in the form of cuts to jobs and services.

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In The Socialist 10 April 2013:


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