Blackpool Hospital staff forced to take out loans as cost of living crisis rages
Finance bosses have stepped in to ensure that any workers forced to borrow money to see them through hard times are not exploited.
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Feroz Patel, executive director of finance at University Hospitals Blackpool, told a meeting of the hospital’s board that many staff were facing hardship due to the cost of living crisis .
He said: ‘We are getting many reports of some staff going to the high street and probably being exploited on loans and credits they get, or maybe not.
Mr Patel said the hospital was helping its staff by putting in place direct deductions from their salaries if they were forced to take out a loan, which helped ensure they were not exploited by the transaction.
This measure is part of a number of measures taken to improve the well-being of hospital staff and help reduce disease rates, which currently stand at more than 6%, which is above the target of 4%.
A report to the board states: “It has long been recognized that there is a strong correlation between staff well-being, staff-reported patient care performance and patient-reported patient experience. .
“In short, when staff well-being is higher, there is a positive impact on the patient experience. Staff well-being is also linked to higher levels of engagement and productivity, which which in turn results in lower levels of sickness absenteeism and staff turnover.”
The hospital currently has 167 Wellness Champions but hopes to recruit 100 more.
Other actions include providing a heated and covered rest garden for staff, installing 15 water fountains around the hospital to ensure people stay hydrated and providing a 24-hour catering service so night workers can eat healthier.
The report adds that “Improving the health and well-being of our staff will bring co-benefits by influencing the health of the local population, while also providing the opportunity to address health inequities.
“Priorising the health and well-being of staff is therefore a key factor in achieving our Trust’s ambitions of fostering a happy and healthy workforce and becoming an employer of choice – on the coast of Fylde and beyond.