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Sickness absence guidance released by NHS Employers

22 July 2014

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The NHS Employers organisation today launched a new online tool to further improve the management of staff sick leave in the NHS.

‘Everything you need to know about sickness absence’ is designed to help managers support staff with a confident and consistent approach.

Its release coincides with official figures released today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), which show that annual sickness absence rates for NHS staff in England are at their lowest point since 2009-10, when the HSCIC began recording the data.

The online tool provides step-by-step information about what to do when staff call in sick, plus practical advice on some of the common reasons for sickness absence and information on what to do if staff are frequently off sick.

The tool includes 30-second guides in each of the following areas, to encourage the spread of good practice, plus much more detail for those who need it:

 – When staff call in sick

 – Staff frequently off sick

 – Staff with long term sickness

 – Common reasons for absence

 – Supporting staff off sick

 – Supporting staff to return to work

 – Preventing absence

Sue Covill, director of employment services at the NHS Employers organisation, said: “It can be hard to know how best to react to, and manage, staff absence. The online tool is here to help and I’m sure it will get widespread use. Our response when someone calls in sick can make a big difference to how they feel and how they behave next, so getting these things right is invaluable.

“We all recognise that healthy, well supported staff are happier in their roles and can give better care. It’s a huge credit to managers and the workforce that sickness absence is falling at a time when the NHS is working exceptionally hard to deliver great care.”

The tool is available on the NHS Employers website