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Burnham responds positively to review of NHS absence levels

24 November 2009

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The NHS will fully implement the Boorman report’s recommendations, Health Secretary Andy Burnham says.

The independent review suggested that patient care was being harmed by staff absence levels in the organisation, and proposed a number of strategies – including healthy eating programmes and counselling for stressed workers – to reduce the number of sick days taken.

“The purpose of the NHS is to improve the health and wellbeing of the general public,” Mr Burnham (pictured) said.

“We cannot be serious about this if we are not committed to improving the health of those that care for our population.

“That is why I am accepting Steve Boorman’s recommendations and committing to help NHS organisations implement them.”

Also welcoming the proposals, Unison head of health, Karen Jennings, said: “There is a solid connection between staff health and wellbeing and good standards of patient care, so it is in everyone’s interests to make the health of staff a priority.

“Prevention is always better than cure and targeting problem areas like back injuries and stress will save staff from unnecessary pain and the need to take valuable time off work and away from patients.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

The Boorman review

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