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NHS absences harming patient care – latest report

23 November 2009

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A report into staff sickness in the NHS is expected to recommend the introduction of health checks, counselling and diet advice to cut absence rates across the organisation.

Dr Steve Boorman’s study notes absences are seriously harming patient care, with the current level sitting at 10.7 days a year per employee – 50% higher than the private sector average of 6.4 days.

More than half of absences can be accounted for by musculoskeletal disorders, stress, depression and anxiety, the investigation says.

Dr Boorman, an occupational health expert, is expected to call for staff health checks, counselling for those with mental health problems and healthy eating advice for those who are overweight.

He will also call on the NHS to lead the way in promoting healthy lives to members of the public.

The independent review was commissioned by the Department of Health to find ways of improving the wellbeing of 1.4 million NHS staff.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Department of Health

Would you welcome the introduction of staff health checks in your practice? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“No. It is infringment of privacy unless consented to” – P Ramtohul, Yorkshire

“Yes, as long as its from a positive angle” – Jacquelyn Horwood, Black Country