A MEMORIAL tree is being planted at a Glasgow hospital today. 

A rowan tree - which is native to Scotland and represents life and protection - is being planted at Gartnavel General Hospital in the city's West End to commemorate NHS medics who have taken their own lives.

It will be the first memorial tree dedicated to health workers in Scotland.

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It comes after recent statistics have shown that in the UK, one doctor takes their own life every three weeks and one nurse takes their own life every week. The tragic trend was attributed in part to workplace pressures.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde non-executive director, Michelle Wailes, said: “Having this tree right outside the main hospital on Gartnavel campus will hopefully give staff a place where, even for a short time, they can pause for reflection.

“NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde treats its duty of care to all staff as a fundamental cornerstone of how we act as an organisation and we have a number of support mechanisms in place staff can access if they need support.”

The tree was organised by charity Doctors in Distress, which was set up by the brother of cardiologist Jagdip Sidhu, who died in 2018. 

The charity launched the National Memorial Tree Campaign to remember medics who have taken their own lives.

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Amandip Sidhu said: “My (cardiologist) brother died by suicide in 2018 therefore this is a very emotive topic for me.

"It is really important for me to know that there are NHS hospitals which understand the pressure their workforce has faced and continues to have to deal with, and who are prepared to talk about the issue of suicide in the workforce.

“Doctors in Distress was founded specifically to eliminate the stigma surrounding suicide and to provide the support our colleagues need in order to continue doing the amazing work they do.”

Chief executive of Doctors in Distress, Ann Paul, added: “We would like every hospital in the country to support our National Memorial Tree Campaign and plant a memorial tree, which will highlight their commitment to protecting the mental health and wellbeing of their staff.

“Together we can help to break down the stigma around mental health and help to prevent further suicides.”