GPs 'least likely to take sick leave'

Medical and dental staff, including GPs employed by trusts, are the group least likely to take sick leave, according to NHS figures.

Figures show that GPs are among the least likely to absent from work due to ill health

They show that the sickness rate for this group between April and June 2009 averaged 1.1%, according to NHS Information Centre report ‘Sickness Absence Rates In The NHS: April - June 2009'.

The bulk of GPs who work in practices are not included in this figure.

The highest rate was for healthcare assistants and other support staff (6.3% in June), ambulance staff (5.8% in June) and nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff (5% in June).

The average sickness absence rate over this period was 4.1%. The last time these figures were compiled and released was in 2006 and the NHS Information Centre says they are not comparable. New figures will be published each quarter.

The North East strategic health authority (SHA) recorded the highest average sickness absence rate at 4.6%. The lowest was London SHA at 3.4%.

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