Lancashire Constabulary has slashed absence rates among police officers by 17% in the past year, effectively putting 25 more officers on the streets each day.
Sickness rates for support staff also fell by 20% and cases of long-term sickness absence more than halved after the implementation of a ‘healthy police plan’.
The results follow a review of sickness absence and the implementation of a system of early intervention by line managers to offer medical support for sick staff.
The constabulary was rewarded for its achievements this week when it won the Health and Safety Executive’s Public Servant of the Year award.
Bill Callaghan, chair of the Health and Safety Commission, said too often public sector performance was compared unfavourably with that of the private sector.
“This award shows what can be done with efficiency and productivity gain from relatively modest investment,” he said.
According to the annual CBI/AXA absence management survey, public sector sickness levels are running at an average of 2.5 days more than the private sector.