Almost 150000 nursing and midwifery days lost due to mental ill health in Scotland

Written by on 28 December 2021

Almost 150,000 nursing and midwifery days lost due to mental ill health in Scotland

Over 40,000 days were lost at the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board

Mental health absences among nurses and midwives have led to almost 150,000 staff days being lost in a year, figures from freedom of information requests have shown.

Requests from the Scottish Liberal Democrats to Scotland’s health boards found 149,990 days of nursing and midwifery time were lost due to mental ill health in 2020/21.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde lost 40,740 days to mental health reasons among nursing and midwifery staff while NHS Tayside lost 22,778 and NHS Lothian lost 20,004.

The party is calling for a “burnout prevention plan” to improve the wellbeing of NHS staff.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “Day after day nurses and midwives have gone above and beyond the call of duty, putting their own lives at extra risk to care for others. For some it has just been too much.

“These figures are an insight into the toll that mental ill-health has taken over the last year, but the pressure was there before the virus struck.

“They have nursed us through the pandemic but in many cases at the cost of their own physical and mental health.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for an urgent new burnout prevention strategy to guarantee leave, ensure safe levels of staffing and ensure that the Health Secretary carries the burden of missed waiting times.

“These are not just numbers, they are people who are struggling.

“People who need real solutions, not another decade of SNP mismanagement.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We are deeply grateful to everyone working in our NHS during this extremely challenging time.

“Throughout this pandemic, our dedicated NHS workforce have continued to provide an exemplary standard of care in the most trying of circumstances.

“We have taken action to invest in a significant expansion of the NHS workforce, as well as in measures to support staff wellbeing.

“NHS Scotland’s staffing levels have increased by 8%, or by over 11,500 whole time equivalent staff, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic alone.

“Following nine consecutive years of increases, we now have record NHS staffing levels – including record-high numbers of nursing and midwifery staff.

“Our over £1 billion-backed NHS Recovery Plan and £300 million Winter Plan include further direct workforce investments to enhance NHS staffing capacity, as well as a combined £12 million to support staff wellbeing.”

The spokesman said a number of wellbeing services had been launched for staff, including a 24/7 national helpline.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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