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Union points to stress and bullying as 3,000 call in sick

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It has emerged that 3,389 NHS staff in Scotland are on long-term sick leave, prompting Labour to ask the Scottish Government to launch an investigation into the sickness absence levels.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon revealed the figures in a parliamentary letter to Cathy Jamieson, Labour’s shadow Cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing.

Ms Jamieson said she was ‘deeply concerned’ by the figures. She added: ‘The Scottish Government should launch an immediate inquiry to investigate why this figure is so high.’

The figures include staff on paid and unpaid sick leave, and those who have suffered injuries or been the victims of crime.

There were 3,389 NHS staff on long-term sick leave, with 975 from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 415 in Lothian, 277 in Tayside, 275 in Grampian and 250 in NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

Ms Jamieson added: ‘The NHS has a duty of care towards all of its employees and I am worried that repeated demands for efficiency savings and cuts by the SNP government have increased the workload and put unfair pressure on staff.’

Matt McLaughlin, regional organiser for NHS Glasgow and Clyde for the UNISON union, said: ‘UNISON is confident that there is a direct link between staff ill health and the NHS employers’ failure to tackle issues such as stress, bullying and violence at work, all of which are on the increase.’

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  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • Dear Sir ,
    Are nurses in Scotland harassed by their Trusts imposing Bradford scales on their sickness levels ?

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  • I have sustained injuries inflicted by disturbed patients over the past years in psychiatric intensive care units and I was told that this is what nurses should expect when working in these environments. I have been unable to get support from either the police, management or even the NHS Counter Fraud Services. I have had teeth knocked out, severe back injuries and recntly two ribs cracked. I cant believe that nothing is being done to maintain a safe environment for our nurses or do we no longer matter?

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