NHS staff in North East have highest absence rate

NHS staff in the North East of England have the highest absence rate, according to latest statistics from the NHS Information Centre (NHSIC).

The North East Strategic Health Authority (SHA) area recorded an average sickness absence rate of 4.6% for the first three months of 2009-10, compared with 3.4% for the London SHA, said the NHSIC. The average sickness absence rate for the service as a whole was 4.1%, it added.

The figures were collated for the first time using the new NHS Electronic Staff Record, and will be updated quarterly to help NHS organisations better benchmark their performance, said the centre, particularly in the light of the publication in November of the Boorman review into the health of NHS staff.

Healthcare assistants and other support staff recorded the highest average sickness absence rate for a staff group at 6.2%, with medical and dental staff coming in lowest at 1.1%. By organisation type, ambulance trusts recorded the highest average rate at 5.2%, with SHAs recording the lowest average rate at 2.1%, it added.

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