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Almost 350 Police Scotland officers and staff had time off for long Covid

The figure represents those who have been off work with long Covid for more than 12 weeks.

345 Police Scotland officers and staff have had 12 or more weeks off work due to long Covid since the pandemic began.

The data shows that the majority of the absences have been among officers.

The service began using the “post-Covid syndrome” category in July 2020 and the latest figures recorded under that category have been released today in the 1919 magazine.

ACC Alan Speirs has underlined that the health and welfare of staff is “one of Police Scotland’s main priorities”.

He said the service has a range of mechanisms in place for support – including the employee assistance programme and the Your Wellbeing Matters programme.

He added: “We also work with our occupational health provider to support police officers and staff in their journey back to health after a period of absence.”

David Kennedy, general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “The issues surrounding Covid-19 will be far-reaching for generations and we can only hope that the public inquiries both in Scotland and UK-wide will shine a light on these issues.

“We need to make sure that our governments and police services continue to help their police officers and staff as they come to terms with the impact that long Covid is having in their lives.

“The physical, mental and financial help that will be required in years to come needs to be a priority for them.

“We need to learn from where it went wrong and make sure that any mistakes are not repeated.”

Police Scotland said it is “possible” that an individual was categorised absent with post-Covid syndrome for a period of time before another diagnosis was reached.

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