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Scotland: mental illness top cause of millions of staff sick days

07 February 2020

Poor mental health is one of the main reasons NHS staff are on sick leave in Scotland, new figures reveal.

A Freedom of Information request made by the Scottish Liberal Democrats shows that, since 2016, more than 45 million staff hours have been lost to illness. The annual figure has risen from 11.6 million in 2016 to 13.7 million in 2018.

The data also reveals that for almost every health board the number one reason for absences was ‘anxiety, stress, depression and other psychiatric illnesses’.

‘It does not take a brain surgeon to work out that you will not improve performance when staff are forced to work in pressure-cooker conditions’

Scottish Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said: ‘It does not take a brain surgeon to work out that you will not improve performance when staff are forced to work in pressure-cooker conditions shift after shift.

‘These figures reveal the toll that mental ill health is having on the very staff who have dedicated their careers to looking after others.’

Image credit | iStock

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