Leaders: ‘Happy staff are a vital ingredient’

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TODAY’S new statistics showing that stress, anxiety and depression have reached record levels among Lothian’s nurses must be a cause of serious concern.

Nurses are the backbone of the National Health Service, providing the vital care when people find themselves in hospital, using their skills to help patients back to health and going the extra mile to help people in their time of need.

But as well as tending to the sick, the NHS also owes a duty of care to those who work in it.

The figures showing more than 17,500 working days lost last year due to stress come amid concerns about cuts in the number of nurses and warnings that front-line health staff are under increasing pressure. NHS Lothian has a particular problem as its new administration, led by chief executive Tim Davison, aims to overcome a culture of bullying and a lengthy patient waiting list.

The Royal College of Nursing points out that the profession is always an emotionally and physically demanding job, but adds that the increase in days lost due to stress – at a time when overall sickness levels are falling – could be linked to the organisational culture for which NHS Lothian was criticised earlier this year. Worryingly, a recent report said that two-thirds of nurses across the UK have considered leaving their role, with stress cited as a key factor.

Important steps are being taken within NHS Lothian to ensure patients are treated more quickly, but we must also remember that healthy and happy staff are a vital ingredient.

Premium Bond

WHILE some are in 007 heaven, others are today complaining of a licence to overkill.

James Bond is everywhere, particularly in Edinburgh’s cinemas where the new flick is apparently being shown more than 80 times every day.

Fans can’t get enough, but there is no denying Daniel Craig is somewhat dominating the schedules as we celebrate 50 years of the world’s greatest secret agent.

Is it too much? No, diamonds are forever but films aren’t and normal service will soon be resumed once the Skyfall mania dies down another day.

Far from resisting the Bond bonanza, the Capital should be celebrating its links with the spy – and they don’t stop with Sir Sean’s milk round. Let’s not forget Fettes-educated Bond is one of our own, after all.

We may have to put up with a few weeks more of wall-to-wall Bond but, at the end of the day, it’s just not worth getting shaken – or stirred – over.