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NHS Sickness Absence Rates July 2020 to September 2020, Provisional Statistics
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 September 2020
The overall sickness absence rate for England was 4.2%. This is higher than August 2020 (3.9%) and slightly lower than September 2019 (4.3%).
Regional and organisational type variation
The North West region reported the highest sickness absence rate in September 2020 at 5.0%, this is slightly higher than their rate in August 2020 (4.7%). The London region reported the lowest sickness absence rate in September 2020 at 3.6%, this is slightly higher than their rate in August 2020 (3.3%).
Ambulance Trusts had the highest sickness absence rate at 5.6% in September 2020, which is slightly higher than August 2020 (5.2%). Commissioning Support Units had the lowest sickness absence rate at 1.9%.
Staff group differences
Support to ambulance staff reported the highest sickness absence rate in September 2020 at 6.7% with Support to doctors, nurses & midwives and Hotel, property & estates staff reporting the second highest rate at 6.0% and 5.9% respectively.
Hospital Practitioner/Clinical Assistants reported the lowest rate at 0.3%, which is a slight decrease from 0.5% in August 2020.
Reason for sickness absence
Anxiety/stress/depression/other psychiatric illnesses is consistently the most reported reason for sickness absence, accounting for over 442,500 full time equivalent days lost and 28.6% of all sickness absence in September 2020. This is slightly down from 31.8% in August 2020.
COVID-19 related sickness absence
Over 89,000 full time equivalent days (from a total of 1,550,000 FTE days lost) were lost due to COVID-19 related sickness absence in September 2020, equating to 5.8% of all absences recorded, compared to 4.1% in August 2020. During the March to September 2020 period, overall sickness absence rates peaked nationally at 6.2% in April. However, the equivalent rate for COVID-19 reported absences was 1.9%. (Please see COVID-19 related absence file in the Resources section below for further information on COVID-19 reported absence).