Staff absences at NHS Borders above average

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Staff sickness rates at NHS Borders remain higher than its target of an absence rate of four per cent - the rate for 2017-18 was 5.23%.

The figures were provided in response to a Freedom of Information request, prompting Borders MP John Lamont (Conservative) to say: “The reason there is a national target for staff sickness rates in the NHS is because absences can result in cancelled operations and appointments, put pressure on staff and also result in increased spending on staff to provide cover.

“These rates show NHS Borders, like every other health board in Scotland, is struggling to meet its target and the trend is getting worse.

“The fact that so many are taking time off sick highlights the difficult conditions our doctors and nurses are being forced to work in.

“Stress and difficult working conditions can contribute to illness so we need to look closely at what can be done to make sure staff are supported and staffing levels are adequate.

“Something has got to change and the Scottish Government need to make sure that staff at rural health boards like NHS Borders are properly supported.”