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NHS staff sickness rates rise slightly

Absence rate rose to 4.23% in July

Adrian O'Dowd

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Rates of NHS staff being off sick have risen slightly, due to anxiety, stress or depression, according to new data released today.

The latest NHS staff sickness absence data for July 2019 from NHS Digital showed that in that month, the sickness absence rate increased by 0.14% to 4.23%, compared to July 2018 when it was 4.09%.

The most common reasons identified for all staff sickness absence were anxiety, stress or depression.

Analysis showed that the lowest sickness absence rate by staff group in July this year was 1.39% for hospitals and community health doctors – this was the highest it has been since February 2019 when it reached 1.44%.

The highest sickness absence rates by staff group was found to be support to clinical staff at 5.73% - this was the highest it has been since February of this year when it was 6.04% for this group.

By organisational type, the ambulance service had the highest sickness absence rate in July at 5.64% while clinical commissioning groups had the lowest rate with 2.86%.

Regionally, Health Education England (HEE) North West had the highest percentage rate of sickness absence at 4.97%, followed by HEE North East with 4.72%.

HEE North West London had the lowest sickness absence with 3.44% followed by HEE North Central and East London with 3.54%.


*NHS Digital. NHS Sickness Absence Rates, July 2019, Provisional Statistics (21 November 2019).

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