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NHS Sickness Absence Rates February 2021, Provisional Statisitics
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.
NHS Absence rates in February 2021
The overall sickness absence rate for England was 4.6%. This is lower than January 2021 (5.7%) but slightly higher than February 2020 (4.5%).
Regional and organisational type variation
The North West region reported the highest sickness absence rate in February 2021 at 5.4%, this is lower than their rate in January 2021 (6.3%). The London and South East of England region reported the lowest sickness absence rate in February 2021 at 4.2% each, this is lower than their rates in January 2021 (5.6% and 5.9% respectively).
Ambulance Trusts had the highest sickness absence rate at 6.9% in February 2021, this is lower than January 2021 (9.2%). Clinical Commissioning Groups had the lowest sickness absence rate at 2.2%.
Staff group differences
Support to ambulance staff reported the highest sickness absence rate in February 2021 at 8.0% with Support to doctors, nurses & midwives reporting the second highest rate at 6.5%.
Staff Grade reported the lowest rate at 0.1% in February 2021.
Reason for sickness absence
Anxiety/stress/depression/other psychiatric illnesses is consistently the most reported reason for sickness absence, accounting for over 439,000 full time equivalent days lost and 26.7% of all sickness absence in February 2021. This is higher than 21.9% in January 2021.
COVID-19 related sickness absence
296,779 full time equivalent days (from a total of 1,643,152 FTE days lost) were lost due to COVID-19 related sickness absence in February 2021, equating to 18.1% of all absences recorded, compared to 28.6% in January 2021.
During the March 2020 to February 2021 period, overall sickness absence rates peaked nationally at 6.2% in April 2020. However, the equivalent rate for COVID-19 reported absences was 1.9%. This is 0.8% in February 2021 with an overall sickness absence rate of 4.6%.
(Please see COVID-19 related absence file in the Resources section below for further information on COVID-19 reported absence).