Stressed-out staff

HIGH stress-related sickness rates of staff at Calderdale Primary Care Trust have been labelled a “serious concern”.

The PCT is teh body which commissions health services for hospitals, doctors and health services in Calderdale.

A report to the trust’s board states the overall sickness rate in its provider service – where 600 staff are due to transfer to new employers by April – was 4.7 per cent in November 2010 –- 0.5 per cent higher than in October.

The current year to date figure was 5.2 per cent - higher than the year’s target of 4.4 per cent. Sickness absence among clinical support staff continues to be the “single biggest problem”, according to the report, at 11.6 per cent for November 2010.

The report said stress at the PCT, which is based at Dean Clough, was the most significant reason for absences in November. It said: “Days lost to stress/anxiety rose significantly for the second successive month and accounted for almost 30 per cent of all absence during the month. “This is the second worse month of the year – after May 2010 – but is obviously a serious concern.”

PCTs across the country have been tasked by the Government with removing their provider services - which include district nurses, health visitors and school nurses.

The provider arm of Calderdale PCT will be transferred to become the responsibility of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust by 1 April 2011.

The report said staff sickness is being picked up with the service managers and a risk assessment has been carried out over the organisational changes.

l Do you work at Calderdale PCT? Are you affected by stress? Email newsdesk@