Wales: NHS sickness absence at start of pandemic highest on record

18 September 2020

Sickness absence was 6% – up 0.4 percentage points from the same period in 2019 – reveals the most recent quarterly report (to 31 March 2020) on sickness absence of Welsh NHS staff.

The report states that ‘the sickness absence rate for March 2020 is the highest recorded monthly rate’ since data collection began in 2008.  

It also states that ‘given the timing this is more than likely attributed to Covid-19’. However, the report continued: ‘Those NHS staff self-isolating are not counted as being off sick and are therefore not included in these sickness absence rates.’

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust had the highest sickness absence for the period, at 7.1%. Health Education and Improvement Wales Special Health Authority had the lowest sickness absence (2.8%).

Healthcare assistants and other support workers staff group had the highest sickness absence, at 8%.

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