Sickness absence across the NHS drops to lowest level in five years


The number of work days lost to ill-health across the NHS trusts has dropped to the lowest level in five years, figures obtained from the Health and Social care Information Centre (HSCIC) annual report on staff absence were able to reveal.

Sickness absence across the NHS drops to lowest level in five years image 1

Hence, on the average, the number of sick days has dropped by almost a day from 15.52 days a year in 2012/13 to 14.82 days a year in 2013/14. This represents a fall in the absence rate from 4.24 per cent to 4.06 per cent year on year and is the lowest rate since 2009/10.

The report also suggests that staff in the ambulance service took the most days off ill with an average rate of 6.78 per cent for January to March 2014, while nurses, midwives and health visitor learners had the lowest rate at 1.1 per cent.

While the drop in sick days is positive news for the health service, the high number of days taken off remains in stark contrast to wider sickness absence data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in February. It showed that average rates across all UK sectors were 4.4 days per worker each year.

Kingsley Manning, chair of HSCIC, commented on the report’s findings “The NHS workforce is diverse in terms of the occupations and skills needed, compared to many other business sectors. Staff can be faced with situations that are physically and psychologically demanding which could increase the risk of illness and injury.

“It is important that NHS organisations are able to monitor absences at all levels to ensure that they have a full picture of the health and well-being of the NHS workforce that provides care to patients seven days a week, 365 days of the year.”

Tensor plc supplies an extensive range of solutions designed specifically to help employers thoroughly monitor and manage absence, with our flagship WinTA.NET integrated workforce management solution incorporating a dedicated Absence Planning and Entitlement Management feature.

Our comprehensive, yet user-friendly software comes pre-loaded with graphical calendar charts that provide a colourful way of viewing an individual’s or a department’s absence records.

Each employee can be allocated different entitlements for absence such as annual leave or allowed sickness. As absence is booked and taken, the remainder available for each entitlement is updated. Entitlement formulae are used to calculate more complex entitlements calculated on a rising scale based upon length of service.

WinTA.NET supplies the relevant managers with information on employee’s absences through warning email notifications or via hardcopy reports. After that, the system would rapidly identify missing employees that are expected to be at work and then informs you via automatic email reporting reports distributed by email.

If you’d like to find out more about the Tensor workforce management solutions, just contact our team or Book a Demo, we’ll be more than happy to answer all of your questions and queries.

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