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NHS Region Loses 200,000 Hours To Mental Health

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Total amount of working hours lost by NHS Ayrshire & Arran for 2016 is an astonishing 198,162 hours as union warns staff are struggling to cope.

GMB Scotland - through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request - has uncovered the amount of working hours lost by NHS Ayrshire & Arran through issues such as work related stress, anxiety and depression.

The total amount of working hours lost by NHS Ayrshire & Arran for 2016 is an astonishing 198,162 hours.

GMB Scotland Trade Union had asked NHS Ayrshire & Arran how many hours employees had been absent due to stress and workplace stress, for the period of 1 January 2016 - 31 December 2016.

Members of GMB Scotland working Ayrshire hospitals and community nurses have reported examples of staff shortages and raised concerns about the difficulty of using annual leave due to the shortages.

Paul Arkison, GMB Scotland said:

"These figures seem extraordinarily high but mirrors exactly what our members in the NHS Ayrshire and Arran have been telling us for some time now.

“Due to staff shortages and extra demands that are being placed on them, many hard working hospital staff are struggling to cope and sadly for many of them they need to take time off to recover.This is leaving the remaining staff struggling to provide a service with limited resources."

"It is imperative that NHS bosses start looking at why so many people are going off unwell, and if it is to do with workplace stress then measures have to be put in place to ensure that the causes are being dealt with, rather than hard working staff returning to work to find themselves exactly in the same position which made them go off unwell in the first place.

“NHS Ayrshire & Arran is stuffed full of highly paid bureaucrats who seem to be allowing a bad situation to get worse, while it's hard working GMB members at the front-line who are struggling to assist the unwell and sick with depleting resources."


GMB press Office on GMB press office on 07958 156846 or at


GMB Trade Union Question to NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Q. Can you provide me with the amount of hours that employees have been absent with in NHS Ayrshire & Arran, due to stress and workplace stress, for the period of 1st January 2016 - 31st December 2016.

A. The relevant sickness hours lost for this period are shown in the table below. Please note that we hold statistics on mental health issues only, rather than specifically on stress related illness. The categories for capturing absence are set by NHSScotland: there are 24 categories, only one of which can capture any health issue relating to mental ill health. There is no differentiation at all between reasons for absence under that category. The category is headed ‘Anxiety, stress, depression or other psychiatric reason’ and everything from a clinical mental health diagnosis to low mood following bereavement is collated under the same heading. We are able to provide information under that heading but cannot break it down into, for example, stress related absence or other forms of absence relating to mental ill health.

Sickness reason recorded sickness hours lost

(1st Jan - 31st Dec 2016)

Anxiety/Stress/Depress/other psychiatric 198,162




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