The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Stress Risk Assessment Process

Stress Risk Assessment Process

We have updated the way we manage our stress risk process. If you have recognised that stress has become an issue for an individual or team we can now offer you an appointment with a member of our Health and Wellbeing Team to discuss next steps.

They can offer some support and provide you with a link to complete the stress risk questionnaire, which will also enable collation of the results for your team. Please email leedsth-tr.HealthandWellbeing@nhs.net and someone will be in touch with 5 working days.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals recognises that stress is a major cause of occupational ill health, translating into sickness absence, high staff turnover and poor performance within organisations. 

The Trust complies with its duties under:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
  • The Working Time Regulations (1998)
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999)
  • The Equality Act (2010)

These duties are summarised by the HSE as a requirement to:

  • Identify the risk factors
  • Identify who can be harmed and how
  • Evaluate the risks
  • Record the findings
  • Monitor and review

The Trust uses the HSE’s Management Standards for Work Related Stress to identify hazards and risks which may cause harm.  These centre on six potential stressors, which if properly managed can help to reduce work related stress:

  • Demands
  • Control
  • Support
  • Relationships
  • Role
  • Change

Stress can also arise from personal issues, which may impact upon an individual’s tolerance to stressors in the workplace.  Whilst the Trust is not responsible for stress caused by personal issues, support and assistance is given to staff to manage it.  Sources of support can be found on the health and wellbeing section of the Trust Intranet http://lthweb.leedsth.nhs.uk/sites/human-resources/staff-health-and-wellbeing

Prevention of stress in the organisation:

The Trust recognises the HSE’s Management Standards for Work Related Stress.  It works to reduce employee’s exposure to stressors by promoting a positive working culture, known as the Leeds Way.

The Trust also offers a range of interventions to support staff when they have identified that they are at risk of being adversely affected by stress or are already suffering the effects of stress, these include:

  • Occupational Health
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Staff Counselling
  • Health and wellbeing interventions
  • Training and development

Further information can be found on the Trust Intranet:

http://lthweb.leedsth.nhs.uk/sites/human-resources/staff-health-and-wellbeing

Recognising when stress may be an issue for an individual or team:

There are a number of ways in which stress may be identified as an issue for a team or an individual.

1) The manager identifies that a team or individual may be impacted by stress. This can be observed via:

  • Verbal feedback from staff.
  • Analysis of HR data.
  • Team meetings where employee health and wellbeing is discussed.
  • Change in annual staff survey results for questions related to stress.

2) An individual or group can inform their manager that they are suffering from work related stress.

3) The HR team may identify from HR Data that stress may be an issue for a team or individual.

4) When a team or individual is undergoing an organisational change under the Trust’s Organisational Change Policy.

5) Another individual e.g. colleague, Health and Wellbeing Champion, member of the Occupational Health team, staff  side representative, supervisor or tutor may identify that a team or individual are at risk of being impacted by stress and raise this with the line manager.

6) An individual or group, a line manager or another individual may identify that stress is a potential issue for an individual or team and raise this with the HR team.

In addition, there are a number of ways in which stress may be identified as an issue for an individual.

  1. The manager identifies that an individual is impacted by stress. This can be observed during one to ones, as part of the general appraisal process or via the question regarding employee health and wellbeing, through supporting performance discussions or from observations of their work. 
  2. Individuals who are being managed under a Trust policy including Dignity at Work, Supporting Performance or Conduct and Discipline may be at increased risk of work related stress.
  3. The individual may approach the manager and acknowledge that they are suffering from work related stress.

How to request a Stress Risk Assessment?

There are a number of ways in which a stress risk assessment can be requested:

  • To the line manager of the individual or team
  • To the line manager of the individual or team’s manager
  • To the Human Resources Team

Staff can make the request verbally or via email and the person to whom the request is made should take action as soon as possible.

Identifying Stress Risk Factors:

Once an individual or team has been identified as potentially being at risk of adverse effects from work related stress, the manager must undertake a stress risk assessment. 

Managers are supported to undertake stress risk assessments for both teams and individuals with a Risk Assessment Cover Sheet which guides them through the risk assessment process.  One must be completed each time a risk assessment is undertaken.

Cover Sheet

Stress Questionnaire

The Trust uses the HSE’s stress risk assessment to identify potential stress factors for teams and individuals which is completed by the members of staff who may be at risk of being impacted by stress.  This can be found under ‘Stress’ of the Health and Wellbeing section of the Intranet. A collation tool to analyse the results can also be found here Stress Questionnaire Collation Sheet.

The stress risk assessment uses the HSE’s Management Standards for Work Related Stress to identify hazards and risks which may cause harm.  Once the stress risk assessment has been collated the manager must discuss the results with the team or individual, consulting with them on what action needs to be taken to reduce or eliminate the stressors identified Team Stress Risk Assessment Summary.

Reducing and eliminating stress:

When working to reduce stress risk factors for a team or individual the manager should:

  1. Arrange a group meeting at a time when the majority of the team or the individual can attend.
  2. Discuss the results of the stress risk assessment, working through each of the HSE’s Management Standards for Work Related Stress.
  3. Ask the team or individual what action needs to be taken against each of the management standards in order to reduce potential stressors.
  4. The manager and team or individual together agree an action plan which includes agreement on when feedback for actions should be sent to the team.
  5. Undertake the actions and feedback as agreed on the action plan.

The HR team will support managers working with both teams and individuals.  They can help to facilitate team and individual meetings and identify sources of support where needed, including, but not exclusive to:

  • The Trust’s Employee Assistance Programme
  • Staff Counselling
  • Organisational Learning
  • Occupational Health

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