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Mental health: Carers under strain due to skills gaps

New research has found 50% of nurses and care workers have experienced mental health problems and stress as a result of not having the relevant skills to do their jobs well.

Mental health is one of the most pressing challenges currently faced by the health and social care sector. According to NHS Digital, mental ill health accounts for over 25% of sickness absence in the NHS. In 2022, councils in England lost over 500,000 working days to mental ill health and stress among care workers. Yet, the link between mental health and the skills gap is less well recognised or discussed.

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However, FuturU, an online education and career development hub for healthcare professionals, have created a new report which addresses how the mental health of carers and nurses is quickly spiralling.

The report, otherwise known as Prescriptions for Change: Why nursing and social care training needs an injection of innovation, surveyed 500 nurses and care workers in the UK and found that 52% said they don’t have the skills to do their jobs well.

Amongst those surveyed, experts also found that 39% reported working overtime, 30% are experiencing burnout and 30% feel less productive. In addition, 18% said that not having the right skills to perform their job well is having a negative impact on their personal relationships, while 9% have considered quitting their jobs.

‘No-one likes to be in a workplace situation where they feel unprepared or lacking the right skills – especially when that involves working with patients or care recipients. Unfortunately, a lot of current training is costly to access and isn’t particularly engaging. This makes it a lot harder to retain information and build the necessary skills to perform your job well. Greater investment in technology-led learning experiences will be important for bringing down the cost of training and making it more akin to what you’d experience on the job’, Michael Manuccia, CEO of FuturU, said.

He added: ‘There’s also a growing appetite for wellness-oriented training, as shown by the uptake in FuturU’s inner wellness courses and webinars. While these won’t be a silver bullet, they can help equip staff with the tools and techniques to prioritise their wellbeing both inside and outside of work, which is crucial from a retention standpoint.’

Image: micheile henderson

More on this topic:

Unemployed: Mental health crisis is driving young people out of work

Coroner warns government over mental health bed shortages following suicide

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