Stress is by far the most common cause of long-term absence among staff at NHS Direct.
Papers for the trust’s latest board meeting show that stress and anxiety accounted for 19 of the trust’s 85 recorded long-term sickness cases as of 28 February.
The second most prevalent cause was musculo-skeletal conditions, with nine cases, and the third was surgery, with eight.
However, the total of 85 was a reduction on January’s figure of 100, and the 122 cases recorded in December 2010.
“The churn of long-term sickness cases remains high”, the board papers note.
The documents add that 39 cases of long-term sickness absence were resolved during February. Of these, seven “resigned or were dismissed,” and 32 returned to work. However, 26 new cases were reported last month.
A key performance indicator for the trust is to reduce the long-term sickness rate to under 50 by 31 March.
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