The Auditor General for Wales, Jeremy Colman, has called for ‘good practice’ in an attempt to cut additional staff time, which totalled £6m a year since 2004.
Mr Colman said that these should now be abandoned in favour of a ‘smarter approach to target setting which reflects the circumstances of each of the new local and national NHS bodies, with a focus on continuous improvement’.
The assembly has set all trusts a rolling annual target of a 4.2% rate of sickness absence. Since April 2004, the average has been between 5.3% and 5.4%.
Between the various trusts, absence rates still vary greatly – between 4.1% to 7%, and the report states that most trusts doubt whether the 4.2% target represented a realistic goal.
The report also recommends agreed performance indicators for occupational health services, and that the assembly should produce regular benchmarking reports.
Related article on nursingtimes.net: Improving how nurses' sickleave is managed