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Hume - half a million NHS working days lost as result of mental ill health

December 27, 2015 10:27 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Hume - half a million NHS working days lost as result of mental ill health

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesman Jim Hume MSP today called for urgent mental health support for health workers as new figures revealed that 575,000 working days have been lost across the NHS as a result of mental ill health since 2011.

Freedom of information requests from the Liberal Democrats found that the number of NHS sick days as a result of mental ill health have increased year on year between 2011 and 2014. Clinical staff alone took almost 200,000 sick days as a result of mental ill health over this period.

Mr Hume has previously called on the Scottish Government to increase the amount of money it spends on mental health services and called for parity of esteem between treatments for mental and physical ill health to be enshrined in law.

Commenting, Mr Hume said:

"Doctors, nurses and other NHS staff are working under enormous pressure and these figures show just what a toll this is taking on their mental health.

"These figures are stark. Hundreds of thousands of days have been lost as a result of mental ill health. This is putting real strain on services and costing the taxpayer millions of pounds. More importantly, failing to tackle mental ill health in our NHS will impact on the many, many staff who are not getting the support they need.

"We know that mental health services in Scotland are stretched, with reports that some young people have been forced to wait more than a year and travel hundreds of miles for specialist treatment. It is time that the SNP government started taking mental health seriously.

"Our NHS does fantastic work every day of the year to keep people healthy. We cannot ignore the mental health of the NHS staff doing their best to keep us fit and well."