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‘Stressed’ NHS managers’ health on the decline

31 July 2012

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Just over half of NHS managers are satisfied in their jobs, a report shows.

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) report The Quality of Working Life 2012 found the average NHS manager now works around 57 days unpaid overtime per year.

While 47% of those polled said they were in “good health”, 24% said their health had got worse over the last three months compared to 2% who said their health had got better.

Almost four in ten managers also reported suffering from stress symptoms and 21% said they were suffering with depression.

“It is not surprising that the recession has led to more ill health among managers as they struggle to cope with heavier workloads, working longer and longer hours and looking over their proverbial shoulders for a sense of job security,” said Professor Cary L. Cooper CBE, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University Management School and co-author of the report.

“The massive rise of presenteeism, managers coming earlier and staying later at work, as well as coming to work when ill, is making the situation much worse.”

Just 62% of NHS managers polled said they were satisfied in their job and 38% said they would leave if they thought they could find another job.

The report linked decreasing job satisfaction with “harmful” health and social care management styles. Those polled described their organisations as bureaucratic (39%), reactive (31%) and authoritarian (25%).
The CMI surveyed over 1,300 managers in 2007 and 2012.