Published: 21/04/2011 12:00
Hospital staff off for almost a year with 'work' illness
by CHRISTINA MASSEY
HOSPITAL staff have had the equivalent of almost a year off over a sixmonth period due to work related illness.
At a meeting of the governors of the Burton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust it was revealed that there were 21 incidents that resulted in absence between September 2010 and March 2011.
Staff ailments included injuries to eyes, lower limbs, upper limbs and back, and infections equating to 354 days within the six month period.
Of these absences, two staff members with injuries to the lower limbs totalled 200 days between them in time off sick.
Both of these people are now back at work.
The trust’s human resources director Roger Smith said: “These are worst case scenarios. It can be as little as someone stubbing their toe.
“In a couple of cases there have been assaults by patients but that could be patients with dementia.” Approximately two thirds of the recorded illnesses could have potentially been avoided had staff followed correct procedure. As a result of the absences, all staff whose illnesses were caused by manual handling were given appropriate training and all those who were physically assaulted have undertaken conflict training.
Staff at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital are no strangers to violence, as it has previously been revealed that one in eight members of the workforce have made complaints about violence from patients in the last year.
In March, a 50-year-old man was jailed for punching a nurse at the hospital in November last year.
David George Mee, of Hill Street, Stapenhill, was sent down for four months for assault by beating on Catherine Ruth Yates after overdosing on antidepressant tablets and drinking a large volume of alcohol.
Chief executive Helen Ashley has said that the trust was concentrating its efforts on taking effective action towards reducing the physical violence displayed towards staff.
One measure which has been adopted by the hospital for this has been the use of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) to protect staff.