NHS workers in England took an estimated 9.5 working days off sick in the past 12 months, according to a report by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
Its report, which looked at the last four financial years and approximately 1.05 million full-time NHS workers in England, compares this figure for 2012-13 to an estimated 9.3 working days in 2011-12 and 9.9 working days in 2009-10, the first year of reporting.
The report found that, regionally, the north east of England had the highest sickness absence rate, with 4.74% of staff ill on an average day, compared to 4.55% in 2011-12 and 4.98% in 2009-10.
The lowest rate was in London at 3.52%, compared to 3.51% in 2011-12 and 3.64% in 2009-10.
The report also estimated that, in 2012-13, average sick days per person equated to:
- 14.7 days for qualified ambulance staff, compared to 13.9 in 2011-12 and 14.4 in 2009-10.
- 2.8 days for hospital doctors, compared to 2.7 days in 2011-12 and 2.7 days in 2009-10.
- 10.6 days for qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff, compared to 10.2 days in 2011-12 and 10.9 days in 2009-10.
- 8.4 days for infrastructure support staff (which includes clerical, estates and managerial staff), compared to 8.2 days in 2011-12 and 8.8 days in 2009-10.
Kingsley Manning, chair of the HSCIC, said: “Today’s report offers a crucial insight into the level of sickness absence within the NHS and therefore provides a health check of the very professions that care for the sick within our society.
“As the NHS is one of the biggest employers in this country, this data is absolutely essential for health service employers locally and nationally, as well as the government, to gain an insight into the many staff groups that keep the health service operational 365 days of the year.”