THE number of people being treated for stress at Parklands hospital in Basingstoke has risen over the last five years.

The increase in stress-related admissions comes despite a drop in the total number of people being admitted to the psychiatric hospital, in Aldermaston Road, over the same period of time.

Figures from a Gazette Freedom of Information Request show that admissions relating to stress doubled between 2007-2008 and 2011-2012.

Between May 2007 and April 2008, only three patients – 0.64 per cent of total admission at the hospital – were diagnosed with stress, compared to six, or 1.7 per cent of the total number of patie-nts admitted between May 2011 and April 2012.

The trend has been increasing over the years, with 0.23 per cent of patients with stress-related admissions in 2008-2009, 1.2 per cent in 2009-2010, and 1.6 per cent in 2010-2011.

The total number of admission to Parklands has dropped from 471 to 359 over the last five years.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust categorises patients suffering from acute stress, reaction to severe stress and post-traumatic stress as admissions relating to stress.

The trend in a growing number of stress-related admissions appears to be a national one, with figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre showing a seven per cent rise in hospital admission for stress levels over a year.

The figures show there were 6,370 admissions for stress across the country between May 2011 and May 2012, compared to 5,960 during the previous 12-month period Liz Redfern, director of nursing and lead director for mental health issues at NHS South of Eng-land, said: “We are all subject to various levels and types of stress and it affects people differently, but one thing is clear – stress can have a serious impact on health and wellbeing.

“We know that some people, particularly men, are reluctant to admit when they are feeling under pressure and unable to cope, but the reality is that this may make things worse over time and lead to more serious mental or physical illness.

“It is important that people do not underestimate the effects of stress upon their health, and it is important that we are all aware of the strains people are under.”

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