One in six staff absences in the Mid and South Essex NHS Trust over the past year were stress-related, new figures show.

NHS figures show there were roughly 40,300 days lost due to stress-related absences in the year to June at the trust – accounting for 17 per cent of the total 236,500 days lost.

It is down from 18.1 per cent of staff absences in 2021-22.

The figures cover all professionally qualified clinical staff, clinical support staff, and infrastructure support staff who were absent due to anxiety, stress, depression or other psychiatric illnesses.

Health think tank the King’s Fund said staff shortages across the NHS must be addressed to ease stress and heavy workloads.

Across all NHS England organisations, 6.1 million days were lost to stress-related staff absences.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "We are hugely grateful to NHS staff for their hard work and their health and wellbeing is of paramount importance.

"For those staff that need it, the NHS provides physical and mental health support – including targeted psychological support and treatment."