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

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton has today revealed that almost 150,000 days, or 410 years of nursing and midwifery staff time were lost to mental ill health in one year alone as he urgently called for the Government to back his party’s plans for an emergency Burnout Prevention Plan. 

Freedom of information requests submitted by the Scottish Liberal Democrats to all of Scotland's health boards revealed that in 2020/21, 149,990 days of nursing and midwifery time were lost due to mental ill health. This is the equivalent of 410 years of staff time being lost in a year. 

Greater Glasgow and Clyde reported 61,110 days lost to mental ill health, followed by Tayside (22,278) and Lothian (20,004).

Mr 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. 

“After the toughest eighteen months of their careers, NHS nurses and midwives need new hope and I want my party to provide that. Nurses and midwives need to know that there is someone in their corner.” 

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