South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust sickness absence hit record high during lockdown

The sickness absence rate at Sunderland and South Tyneside’s hospital trust hit a record high during lockdown, figures show.

Thursday, 27th August 2020, 1:38 pm

NHS Digital data shows that in April, the first full month of lockdown, the overall staff sickness and absence rate at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust was 6% – the highest level since comparable records began in 2013.

By comparison, the rate was 4.2% during the same month in 2019.

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Sunderland Royal Hospital

The latest statistics reveal 2.3million full-time working days were lost due to sickness across the NHS in April – the most in more than a decade.

The figures cover the first full month of lockdown, when people across the country were urged to stay at home to protect the NHS as it came under increased pressure.

The rate across the North East and Yorkshire was 5.9% in April – the sixth highest of NHS England's seven regions. London had the highest rate, while the South West saw the lowest.

South Tyneside Hospital

Kath Griffin, Director of HR and Organisational Development at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is very difficult to sensibly compare sickness rates as the last few months have presented the NHS with a challenge that we have never experienced before.

“There is no doubt that the last few months have been a difficult time for staff across the Trust who have worked above and beyond to safely care for patients both in our hospitals and in the community.

"We recognise that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of our staff and we continue to provide a comprehensive package of support focused around mental and physical health and wellbeing.

"Since April, we have seen a 25% decrease in sickness levels across the Trust and more in line with what we would expect to see at this time of year.”

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