Fire staff on long-term mental health leave up by 30%

The number of UK fire and rescue staff taking long-term sick leave due to mental illness has risen by nearly a third over the last six years, figures show.

A BBC report states that In London, the figure has doubled since 2011-12. Some 103 London fire staff have taken mental health leave this year, some after working at Grenfell Tower.

The Home Office said it was the responsibility of fire services to put wellbeing services in place.

Two-thirds of fire services provided data following a Freedom of Information request submitted by "5 Live Investigates."

They reveal the number of firefighters and other staff taking long-term mental health leave rose from 600 to 780 over the last six years. At least 126 staff have left the service due to mental health issues since 2011.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service only provided comparable figures for one full year. In 2016-17, 97 Scottish fire staff took long-term mental health sick leave while in Northern Ireland that figure was 111.

View the whole BBC report here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41164996