Latest NHS staff sickness absence data for October 2018


Latest figures released by NHS Digital show that for October 2018 the monthly NHS staff sickness absence was 4.34 per cent.

The data considers sickness absence rates and total days lost supplied by staff groups, Health Education England (HEE), regions and organisations as follows:

  • The lowest sickness absence rate by staff group in October 2018 was 1.08 per cent for nursing, midwifery and health visiting learners. This is the lowest it has been for this staff group since March 2018.
  • The highest sickness absence rates by staff group is healthcare assistants and other support staff at 6.58 per cent which is followed by Ambulance staff at 5.34 per cent.
  • By organisation type the ambulance service has an overall sickness absence rate of 5.26 per cent for October 2018, which is a reduction of 0.08 per cent in one month. 
  • The lowest overall sickness absence for organisational type are clinical commissioning groups with a percentage rate of 3.14. This is an increase of 0.09 per cent for the same month in the previous year.
  • The North West HEE region had the highest sickness absence percentage rate of 5.00 followed by West Midlands HEE with 4.77 per cent.
  • The lowest regional sickness absence rate for October 2018 was 3.58 per cent for North West London HEE followed closely by North Central and East London HEE with a percentage rate of 3.61.

Resources to help you manage sickness absence

Watch our video case study, tackling sickness absence showing how Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust put people before process and had a significant impact on sickness absence rates as a result.

Our health and wellbeing sickness absence and MSK webinar showcased proven strategies and best in class examples for managing sickness absence.

Our everything you need to know about sickness absence tool is designed to help managers support staff with a confident and consistent approach to sickness absence. It includes a step-by-step guide for what to do when a staff member calls in sick, practical advice on some of the common reasons for sickness absence and information on what to do if staff are frequently off sick. 

Access our action on absence webpages for more information and guidance, including our updated interactive sickness absence calculator and our eight elements to reducing sickness absence

For more information on the sickness absence data, please see the NHS Digital.

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