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Ambulance chiefs unveil plans to cut rates of sickness

Bosses have unveiled plans to cut down the number of days lost due to sick leave at the North West Ambulance Service.

Bosses have unveiled plans to cut down the number of days lost due to sick leave at the North West Ambulance Service.

The trust behind the North West Ambulance Service has today detailed its plan to bring down the number of staff who call in sick.

It comes after the service was revealed to have the highest number of full time working days lost because of sickness absence across all NHS services on the Fylde Coast.

According to data from the Health and Social Care information Centre, between 2013 and 2014 more than 110,000 full time days were lost out of a possible 1,677,324 as employees rang in sick.

The stats give the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust a sickness absence rate of 6.6 per cent.

Director of organisational development, Michael Forrest, said: “We are fully aware that high levels of absence can have implications on the 
delivery of service and we are addressing this issue by evaluating the reasons behind staff absence, looking for any absence trends, and introducing a more robust approach to managing absence rates.

“To help the Trust gain a better understanding of staff absence, and with the support of staff union representatives, we are undertaking a survey of all staff regarding their health and wellbeing. In addition, a new sickness absence policy has been launched and work continues to support improvements in attendance, which is being monitored.”

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has also outlined its policy for dealing with sickness.

A spokesman said: “The Trust has continued to work with staff in consistently applying our management of absence policy. This has involved supporting staff to return to work either through role adjustments or re-deployment. We offer access to an internal occupational health service and offer an additional benefit for staff. Additionally, the Trust has launched a new sickness absence policy in 2014 which will further support the hard work already under way from our staff and managers.”

 

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