York council fights absence with nurses

City of York council is trying to cut the cost of staff
absence by using nurses to handle calls from people calling in sick.

Staff will call the nurses instead of their line managers
and the nurses will be able to offer advice on how to deal with the symptoms.
Stephen Forrest, the council’s human resources services manager, said: “Studies
have shown that offering people advice and support in this way means that they
are able to return to work more quickly.
“Clearly, this eases the pressure on colleagues who have had to cover for them
during their absence and saves the council money.
“It makes people feel more supported and helps to ensure that they are
receiving the care that they need. This is something that a line manager
couldn’t help with because they wouldn’t have the medical knowledge.
“We will be monitoring the trial closely to see how effective it is.”
By Quentin Reade

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