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Work-Related Stress

Volume 408: debated on Tuesday 1 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what services are available to NHS staff suffering from work-related stress; what plans there are to advise trusts to operate fast track referral systems for such staff; and if he will make a statement. [120627]

The Department's long term plans for reducing organisational stress in the National Health Service are based around the improving working lives (IWL) programme. This covers a range of issues, including the provision of childcare, flexible working, improvements to work/life balance as well as ensuring the provision of counselling services for all staff.The National Audit Office report, "A Safer Place to Work: Improving the Management of health safety risks to staff in NHS Trusts", reported that 68 per cent. of NHS trusts already operate some form of "fast tracking" for staff. This is to ensure the earliest possible treatment for staff injured at work to facilitate their quick return to duty and maximise staff resources.The Department will be producing new guidance in the autumn of 2003, which will draw further attention to the use of quicker access services for those who aren't already implementing such systems.