Dr Steve Boorman's report made recommendations including:
- Early interventions for staff with musculo-skeletal and mental health conditions, to help minimise the time staff must spend suffering with these problems;
- Senior management made accountable at each organisation for staff health and well-being which will be measured as part of the annual assessments of NHS performance;
- And NHS organisations have a prevention-focused health and well-being strategy in place for all staff.
Health secretary Andy Burnham said: ‘We want to see the NHS become an exemplar for other organisations to follow, valuing its employees as it values its patients. Savings of up to £555m per year that we can reinvest in the NHS will undoubtedly improve the quality of patient care and importantly in the current economic climate - save the taxpayer money.'
The DoH has set aside £6.5m to enable the work.
Asked why the DoH would be publishing NHS staff sickness rates, Clare Chapman, the DoH's director general of workforce, said it was important to measure the problem before seeking to address it.
She added: ‘The fact that the best parts of the NHS are better than the private sector shows us what is possible.'
Rates would be aggregated at individual organisation level with board accountability for improvement.