Healthcare assistants have highest sickness absence rates

Healthcare assistants have the highest sickness absence rates amongst staff groups in the NHS, according to new figures.

Statistics from the Information Centre for health and social care show that the sickness absence rates for healthcare assistants in England between October and December 2009 was 6.9%.

Eight staff groups are rated in the report with ambulance staff's rates the next highest at 6.5%, then nurses, midwives and health visitors at 5.6%. The lowest rates were for medical and dental staff (1.3%) and nursing, midwifery and health visitor learners (1.4%). The figures do not include GPs.

Ambulance trusts have the highest rates by seven organisation types (6.1%), with PCTs fourth on 4.7% and strategic health authorities the lowest on 2.2%.

Geographical rates are highest by strategic health authority area in the North East (5.2%) and lowest in London (3.9%).

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