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Health Secretary warned of PTSD risk for frontline workers

NHS workers poster

Jeane Freeman has been urged to outline plans to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in frontline staff caused by dealing with the pandemic.

Scottish Labour’s health and social care spokeswoman, Monica Lennon, has raised her concerns on the impact of Covid-19 in a letter to the health secretary, saying it is taking an “unprecedented toll” on workers.

“I welcome actions that have been taken so far to provide additional support for both frontline staff and the population in general," she writes. “However, we cannot underestimate the impact on mental health of the strain which many frontline staff are currently experiencing.

“Fears and anxieties over PPE, long working hours and the emotional toll of working with sick patients and care home residents, many of whom will have died from this virus, is taking an unprecedented toll on frontline workers.

“We also know that the long-term impact of this strain can be significant and that many will be at risk of developing PTSD, which can present months or even years after the initial trauma."