Increase in sick days taken by Stafford Hospital staff

Stafford County Hospital

By Harry Thomas-Humphreys

Staff working at Stafford County Hospital took over 1000 extra days off sick in 2020 compared to 2019, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Data held by the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) shows that a total of 28,114 sick days were taken by staff in 2020 whose location in their staff record was recorded as ‘County Hospital’.

This is in comparison to 26,595 sick days taken by staff working at the hospital in 2019, which represents an additional 1,519 days absent from work by NHS staff in 2020 when compared to the previous year.

Ro Vaughan, Director of Human Resources at UHNM Trust, said: “Preserving and protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of staff has been our priority since the start of the pandemic.

“We recognise that our staff have worked tirelessly for the last 12 months and it is essential that we continuously support their physical and mental wellbeing, enabling them to stay healthy and protect themselves, their colleagues, patients and families as we continue to deliver services through this challenging period.

“We know this will be a long process and will ensure our comprehensive package of wellbeing support such as staff counselling and psychological support is available all year round.”

The trust also said staff have been offered an additional day’s annual leave to take as a Wellbeing Day, and money from NHS charity donations has been used to create additional Staff Rest Areas at the hospital to ensure staff can take breaks away from the clinical environment.

A study conducted last year by the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England revealed that NHS staff were six times more likely to return a positive Covid-19 test than members of the public in other occupations.

The number of sick days taken by staff at Stafford County Hospital relates to fixed term and permanent employees only.