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Research shows impact of mental ill-health and stress amongst social care staff

A joint study by the British Psychological Society and BASW has shown that mental ill-health and stress accounted for 30% of staff sickness last year. The data was collected after a freedom of information request was sent to all English councils with Social services responsibilities, 114 of which responded.

The survey found:

  • Adults’ and children’s services staff took 1,653,117 full-time equivalent (FTE) days of sickness absence during 2022-23.
  • Mental health issues accounted for 406,796 of these days, 25% of the total.
  • Stress, including work-related stress, accounted for a further 93,225 FTE days (6%).
  • Mental health issues and stress, combined, was the most common reason for sickness absence among adults’ and children’s services staff in 76 of the 98 councils who provided responses to this question.

Commenting on the figures a BASW England spokesperson said: “These shocking figures highlight the urgent need for action to address the wellbeing of our social care workforce. It’s crucial that the government not only acknowledge this issue but also takes proactive steps to support dedicated social care professionals.

“The wellbeing of our social care workforce should be a top priority, and we call upon healthcare leaders and policymakers to allocate the necessary resources and funding to address these issues and provide much-needed support to those who care for our most vulnerable in our society.”

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Published on 21st September 2023