NHS sick rates a cause for concern

The prospective Labour candidate for Dundee East has commented on worrying absence figures among NHS Tayside staff.

Councillor Lesley Brennan was moved to comment after a Freedom of Information request showed that over 126,878 working hours were lost between April and September this year.

Among the reasons recorded for the absences are anxiety, stress, depression and other psychiatric illnesses.

Ms Brennan, a trained health economist, said: “It is of great concern that dedicated health service staff are themselves suffering from work-related stress.

“Higher levels of stress on staff have resulted from the pressure of increased workloads, and less resources being made available to meet rising health care demands.

“Improving the quality of the health service and the quality of patient care require more investment so as to improve the health of NHS staff. “

The cost of statutory sick pay during the current financial year is understood to have cost the health authority £314,508.

The total number of hours of statutory sickness absence for the period April to September was 517,915.