Ambulance staff at top of growing NHS sick list

NHS staff take an average of 9.5 working days each off sick per year, according to the latest statistics.

The figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) suggest that there has been a slight increase in the national sick rate on the previous year, with ambulance staff being the most affected.

The latest figures, for 2012-13 compared with an estimated 9.3 working days in 2011-12 and 9.9 working days in 2009-10, which was the first year of reporting.

The 2012-13 average sick days per person equated to:

  • 14.7 days for qualified ambulance staff, compared with 13.9 in 2011-12 and 14.4 in 2009-10;
  • 8.4 days for infrastructure support staff, compared with 8.2 days in 2011-12 and 8.8 days in 2009-10;
  • 10.6 days for qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff, compared with 10.2 days in 2011-12 and 10.9 days in 2009-10; and
  • 2.8 days for hospital doctors, compared with 2.7 days in 2011-12 and 2.7 days in 2009-10.

In 2012-13, 4.24% of NHS staff overall (excluding general practice) were ill on an average day, compared with 4.12% in 2011-12 and 4.4% in 2009-10, it added.

HSCIC chair Kingsley Manning said: “As the NHS is one of the biggest employers in this country, this data is absolutely essential for health service employers locally and nationally, as well as the Government, to gain an insight into the many staff groups that keep the health service operational 365 days of the year.”

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