Home Wellbeing Half of Nurses and Carers Experience Mental Health Strain due to Skill Gaps

Half of Nurses and Carers Experience Mental Health Strain due to Skill Gaps

by Kirsty Kirsty

Half (50%) of nurses and care workers have experienced mental health problems and stress as a result of not having the relevant skills to perform their jobs well, according to new research from healthcare education startup, FuturU.

Mental health is one of the most pressing challenges currently faced by the health and social care sector as a whole. 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.

FuturU’s research report, “Prescription for Change – why nursing and social care training needs an injection of innovation”, surveyed 500 nurses and care workers in the UK. Half (52%) said that they don’t have the skills to do their job well, either ‘always’, ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’. Sadly, this is often at the cost of their mental and physical health.

Among the nurses and care workers surveyed, 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” said Michael Manuccia, CEO of FuturU.

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.”

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