Tables 1-4 (Monthly Sickness Absence Rates by NHS England region, Staff Group, Organisation Type and Organisation) from the quarterly Sickness Absence reports are published on a monthly basis on the same day as the Monthly workforce publication. This is to enable the data in these publications to be available on a more frequent and timely basis.
We have created a repository of the code used to produce the NHS Sickness Absence Rates publication which is available on GitHub: https://github.com/NHSDigital/absence-rates
In conjunction with this we have suggested some changes to the formatting of tables in this publication. These can be viewed below and have the prefix ‘NEW FORMAT’. We intend to solely publish the new format in three months time.
We welcome feedback on the methodology and tables within this publication. Please email us with your comments and suggestions, clearly stating NHS Sickness Absence as the subject heading, via email@example.com or 0300 303 5678.
NHS Absence rates in March 2022
The overall sickness absence rate for England was 6.0%. This is higher than February 2022 (5.6%) and higher than March 2021 (4.0%).
Regional and organisational type variation
The North West region reported the highest sickness absence rate in March 2022 at 6.6%, this is higher than their rate in February 2022 (6.3%). The London region reported the lowest sickness absence rate in March 2022 at 5.2%, this is higher than their rate in February 2022 (4.9%).
Ambulance Trusts had the highest sickness absence rate at 9.1% in March 2022, this is higher than their rate in February 2022 (8.5%). Commissioning Support Units had the lowest sickness absence rate at 2.7%, increasing slightly since February 2022 (2.6%).
Staff group differences
Support to ambulance staff reported the highest sickness absence rate in March 2022 at 10.2%. With Ambulance staff reporting the second highest sickness absence rate in March 2022 at 8.9%. Support to doctors, nurses & midwives had the third highest rate at 7.9%.
Hospital Practitioner/Clinical Assistant reported the lowest rate at 0.9% in March 2022.
Reason for sickness absence
Anxiety/stress/depression/other psychiatric illnesses is consistently the most reported reason for sickness absence, accounting for over 504,000 full time equivalent days lost and 20.5% of all sickness absence in March 2022. This has fallen since February 2022 (23.4%).
NHS Sickness Absence Interactive Report
Interactive report showing trends in sickness absence in the NHS workforce.