Chesterfield Royal Hospital taking on more nurses this autumn - as number of staff sick days are revealed

Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital has announced it is taking on more nurses this autumn as part of a £1million investment.

The news comes after the hospital told the Derbyshire Times that staff took a total of 29,139 days off sick in the first six months of 2019.

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Last year, 42,488 sick days were recorded in total.

Across the East Midlands as a whole, NHS workers took more than 1.3 million days off sick between May 2018 and April 2019, according to the union Unison.

Dave Ratchford, Unison regional organiser, said: "The dedication of the whole team of NHS staff is beyond question - but a decade of cuts is taking a terrible toll on their health."

A Royal spokesperson said: "The health and well-being of our hardworking staff is really important if we want to provide patients with the best possible care.

"We agree that staffing levels can impact staff sickness.

"We're about to invest more than one million pounds in more nurses and allied health professionals this autumn to strengthen staffing on increasingly busy wards and departments - especially at night-time. This a result of listening to our staffs' concerns.

"That's on top of the two million pounds we've already pledged to keep our 'winter' ward permanently open with its own team - and other new staffing initiatives.

"We've also set out to ensure staff have access to the right support to stay well - and to get better when they're ill or feeling stressed.

"Alongside our commitment to offer flexible working opportunities, healthy eating options, sports and social events, weight management and reflexology, we also provide our staff with fast track physiotherapy treatment, access to counselling, mindfulness 'training' and much, much more.

"We absolutely agree that a healthy workforce supports a positive patient experience.

"We score above average in the national staff survey for our approach to staff health and well-being and it will continue to be an improvement priority - so we do even more to look after our team."

The hospital has not yet said exactly how many more nurses will be employed.

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