One in four dentists suffer stress

Almost one in four NHS dentists has suffered from work-related stress in the last year, according to a new survey.

The annual NHS Staff Survey revealed 23% of respondents had endured the work-related illness.

In addition, 10% say they have been victims of discrimination and a further 13% endured harassment, bullying or abuse from patients in the past 12 months.

Five per cent of dentists had suffered physical violence from patients in the last year.

Working extra hours remains a problem with 87% working unpaid hours.

But it would appear most NHS dentists are happy in their jobs with 95% saying they believe they make a difference, and 89% valued by their colleagues.

However, they want to go further as just 73% are satisfied with the quality of work and patient care they deliver.

Work-related injuries were reported by 7% of the participants and 44% admitted to witnessing a potentially harmful error, near miss, or incident in the last month.

The staff poll questions workers in 38 key areas which also included work/life balance, work pressure felt, job satisfaction, support from management and training given.

Overall, the Department of Health said the results were the same or better in 25 out of 38 key measures compared with the previous year.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘This survey shows that NHS staff remain committed to providing the highest quality of care to their patients.

‘The number of staff happy with the standard of care remains stable, with some foundation trusts performing to a very high standard. Too many trusts continue to have less favourable levels of recommendation to family and friends. The NHS should use this as a basis for seeing improvement in the services we deliver for patients in the future.’

In total 250,000 NHS staff, including pharmacists, paramedics, and mental health workers, were sent a questionnaire and 134,967 responded.

The results are mainly used by NHS organisations to help them review and improve staff experience so that staff can provide better patient care.

Consultant doctors and dentists are grouped in the same category but does not include trainee dentists.

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