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NHS Sickness Absence Rates October 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 October 2020
The overall sickness absence rate for England was 4.5%. This is higher than September 2020 (4.2%) and slightly lower than October 2019 (4.6%).
Regional and organisational type variation
The North West region reported the highest sickness absence rate in October 2020 at 5.8%, this is slightly higher than their rate in September 2020 (5.0%). The London region reported the lowest sickness absence rate in October 2020 at 3.7%, this is slightly higher than their rate in September 2020 (3.6%).
Ambulance Trusts had the highest sickness absence rate at 6.0% in October 2020, which is slightly higher than September 2020 (5.6%). Commissioning Support Units had the lowest sickness absence rate at 2.1%.
Staff group differences
Support to ambulance staff reported the highest sickness absence rate in October 2020 at 7.0% with Support to doctors, nurses & midwives and Hotel, property & estates staff reporting the second highest rate at 6.4% and 6.2% respectively.
Core Training grades, Foundation Doctor Year 2 and Hospital Practitioner/Clinical Assistants reported the lowest rate at 1.3% in October 2020.
Reason for sickness absence
Anxiety/stress/depression/other psychiatric illnesses is consistently the most reported reason for sickness absence, accounting for over 471,800 full time equivalent days lost and 27.2% of all sickness absence in October 2020. This is slightly down from 28.6% in September 2020.
COVID-19 related sickness absence
Over 164,600 full time equivalent days (from a total of 1,732,000 FTE days lost) were lost due to COVID-19 related sickness absence in October 2020, equating to 9.5% of all absences recorded, compared to 5.8% in September 2020.
During the March to October 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).