NHS staff ‘sickies’ taking a huge toll
Hundreds off daily and rate’s higher than average
An average of about 300 NHS Forth Valley staff are off sick every day, according to latest figures.
The authority employs more than 6000 in places such as Forth Valley Royal, Stirling Community Hospital and facilities across the Stirling area.
At the meeting of NHS Forth Valley board last month, head of performance and governance Elaine Vanhegan said the staff sickness absence average was 5.26 per cent between August, 2016, and July – slightly higher than the 5.23 per cent Scottish average.
A spokesman for the board said attendance rates tended to fluctuate from month to month.
Latest provisional figures, for August 2017, show NHS Forth Valley at 4.73 per cent which is lower than the national average of 5.09 per cent and their secondlowest rate in seven years.
She added: “Like other health boards across Scotland, we continue to work towards the national target of four per cent and each directorate has an agreed action plan to deliver further improvements.
“The health and wellbeing of our staff is extremely important, and our occupational health department has a number of measures in place to help any employee who is experiencing health difficulties.
“We offer employee counselling services, stress awareness courses and a staff psychologist works with the department.
“Emphasis is also placed on staff values with our staff in their teams working together. This is beneficial for good mental health and wellbeing.”
Ms Vanhegan also reported at the board meeting that the Emergency Department at FVRH was subject to monitoring three times a day by the Scottish Government because of inconsistencies in the waiting times for people seeking treatment there.
Ministers say 95 per cent of patients should wait for A&E treatment no longer than four hours from arrival to admission, discharge or transfer, and board’s should be working towards a 98 per cent target.
Board members were told that in August, 93.5 per cent of patients were seen within the target time although seven waited longer than eight hours.
Of the 458 patients that waited longer than four hours in August, 284 were due to a wait for first assessment and 18 breaches were due to wait for a bed.
Ms Vanhegan said: “Achieving the 95 per cent target on a consistent basis continues to be challenging. Discussion has taken place with the Scottish Government regarding NHS Forth Valley’s variation in performance and what further support may be required.
“However, throughout the months of July and August there were 15 occasions where attendances at the department were well above average with between 190 and 212 patients presenting.
“In September, Emergency Department performance has been inconsistent with performance repeatedly below 92 per cent. Thrice daily monitoring by the Scottish
Government was recommenced on September 12 and this will remain in place until the department achieves 92 per cent compliance with the four hour wait for 10 consecutive days.”
Sickness Around 300 NHS staff are absent each day in Forth Valley area