NHS Employers responds to staff sickness figures

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23 / 7 / 2013 Midnight

Sue Coville says major staff groups are taking less sick-leave now than at the beginning of the decade and systems to support health and wellbeing have improved.
Responding to today’s report about NHS staff sickness by the Health & Social Care Information Centre, Sue Covill, director of employment services at the NHS Employers organisation, said:

“The significant pressures of a long cold winter, organisational restructuring and challenging expectations place additional pressures on staff and these are reflected in some of the figures published today.

“Employers will be exploring in detail why sickness absence has risen slightly and exploring how best to support their staff in the light of challenges faced. 

“Evidence tells us that there are a range of responses to help staff both to prevent sickness absence and to support them during absence.

“Of particular value are those schemes that provide early interventions, support networks and different ways for staff to take responsibility for their wellbeing and report any concerns in confidence.

“It is important to put these figures in perspective. Major staff groups, including nurses, are taking less sick-leave now than at the beginning of the decade, and systems to support their health and wellbeing have undeniably improved. The simple fact is the NHS environment has become more challenging for everyone, making supportive approaches essential to mitigate the pressures and help staff work within them.

"NHS Employers will continue providing detailed support and guidance to help organisations put quality health and wellbeing systems in place."

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