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Tips designed to cut staff absence as stats reveal highest rates in healthcare assistants and support staff

Tips designed to cut staff absence as stats reveal highest rates in healthcare assistants and support staff

Managers were reminded of tips to reduce NHS staff sickness after the latest statistics showed that the ambulance service had the highest absence rate.
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Managers were reminded of tips to reduce staff sickness after the latest statistics showed that the ambulance service had the highest absence rate.

According to NHS Digital’s figures the ambulance service had a 5.38% absence rate in July.

Healthcare assistants and support staff had the highest sickness rate at 6.1%.

Nurses and, midwives and health visitors were the least likely to be absent in July, with just 4.69% calling in sick.

The North West was the area with highest absence rate, whilst North West London had the lowest amount of staff sickness.

NHS Employers crated an online tool which aims to reduce the amount of staff absence.

It includes a sickness absence calculator and covers the questions to ask when staff call in sick, how to help  staff with frequent or long term illness. It also covers their return to work and ways of preventing absence, if possible.

Some of the most common reasons for staff calling in  sick include mental health, sickness and diarrhoea, cancer, caring responsibilities, stress and musculoskeletal problems.

NHS England's plan to cut the amount of sugary products on sale on NHS sites aim to help cut staff absence through obesityrelated conditions.

NHS Employers said the tool is ‘designed to help managers support staff with a confident and consistent approach to sickness absence.’

The tool advises managers of the key questions to ask when staff call in sick.

It suggests they find out the reason for the absence, how long staff think they will be off and if there is any work which needs to be picked up in their absence.

‘Listening is key. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you might feel and what you would want your manager to say and do,’ managers were advised.

The advice also highlights  look at eight areas to consider for cutting  absence rates. They are health and safety, sickness absence coding, appraisal, resilience, the line manager’s role, effective management, use of metrics, the NHS staff survey, engagement and communication and presenteeism, when staff feel they should be at work rather than recovering at home. 

NHS England recently unveiled new plans for midwifery, which included ways of cutting staff sickness

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