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NHS Sickness Absence Rates NHS Sickness October 2020 to December 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 December 2020
The overall sickness absence rate for England was 5.1%. This is higher than November 2020 (4.9%) and higher than December 2019 (4.9%).
Regional and organisational type variation
The North West region reported the highest sickness absence rate in December 2020 at 6.0%, this is slightly lower than their rate in November 2020 (6.2%). The London region reported the lowest sickness absence rate in December 2020 at 4.4%, this is higher than their rate in November 2020 (3.8%).
Ambulance Trusts had the highest sickness absence rate at 7.1% in December 2020, which is higher than November 2020 (6.4%). Commissioning Support Units and Clinical Commissioning Groups had the lowest sickness absence rate at 2.3%.
Staff group differences
Support to ambulance staff reported the highest sickness absence rate in December 2020 at 8.1% with Support to doctors, nurses & midwives reporting the second highest rate at 7.2%.
Hospital Practitioner/Clinical Assistant reported the lowest rate at 1.3% in December 2020.
Reason for sickness absence
Anxiety/stress/depression/other psychiatric illnesses is consistently the most reported reason for sickness absence, accounting for over 511,000 full time equivalent days lost and 26.0% of all sickness absence in December 2020. This is slightly down from 26.2% in November 2020.
COVID-19 related sickness absence
362,774 full time equivalent days (from a total of 1,967,352 FTE days lost) were lost due to COVID-19 related sickness absence in December 2020, equating to 18.4% of all absences recorded, compared to 15.6% in November 2020.
During the March to December 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).