NHS sickness absence drops to lowest recorded level


Annual NHS national sickness absence rates in England are at their lowest point since the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) began recording data in 2009, it has said.

The HSCIC said its latest figures showed that NHS workers, on average, had one day off sick out of every 25 (14.82 days a year) in 2013-14, or a 4.06% absence rate.

This was a decrease in the number of days off sick from 2012-13, when the sickness absence rate stood at 4.24%, or one day off out of every 24 (15.52 days a year).

The latest NHS sickness absence rates report, available at: www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/sickabsratemar14, looked at the findings for the past five financial years and, in 2013-14, related to about 1.06 million full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in the NHS in England, excluding GPs and practice staff.

Ambulance staff had the highest sickness absence rate, at 6.20%, compared with 6.55% in 2012-13 and 6.38% in 2009-10.

Hospital doctors had the lowest rate, at 1.22% compared with 1.25% in 2012-13 and 1.21% in 2009-10.

Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff had a sickness absence rate of 4.50%, compared with a figure of 4.72% in 2012-13 and 4.83% in 2009-10, revealed the report.

Regionally, staff in the North-West of England had the highest sickness absence rate, at 4.60%, compared with 4.69% in 2012-13 and 4.86% in 2009-10.

The lowest rate was in North-Central and East London, at 3.36%, compared with 3.45% in 2012-13 and 3.50% in 2009-10.

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