Long-term health conditions

How to support employees with long-term health conditions.

10 October 2020

A long-term health condition is defined as a condition that cannot at present be cured but can be controlled by medication and therapies. We have collated guidance and resources to help you support employees with long-term conditions. 

Supporting staff with long-term health conditions helps them to return to and remain in work. This benefits an organisation in retaining a valuable member of staff and also helps with the management of sickness absence and its associated costs.

NHS Digital report that long-term mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, were the main causes for sickness absence in the NHS between May 2019 and November 2022. This has been strongly related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is coupled by a sharp rise to approximately 122,000 healthcare workers reporting suffering from long COVID symptoms. It is critical that employers acknowledge this trend and implement initiatives to adequately support the wellbeing of staff suffering from long-term health conditions.

Our sickness absence toolkit provides practical advice on how NHS managers can support staff returning to work and/or manage staff with long-term sickness absence.

Additional guidance for supporting employees with long-term health conditions can be found on the Healthy Working Lives website.