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Hospital trusts in Barking and Dagenham defend staff sick leave figures

PUBLISHED: 13:00 04 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:35 04 August 2016

BHRUT runs services out of Barking Community Hospital

BHRUT runs services out of Barking Community Hospital

Archant

Staff sickness absences at the North-East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals (BHRUT) were among the highest in the region.

The latest figures from the health and social care information centre (HSCIC) show that BHRUT had a 3.8 per cent staff absence rate from April 2015 to March this year (the fifth highest across north, central and east London) – whilst NELFT’s rate was 4.24pc, making it second highest.

During that time, staff sickness absences at BHRUT’s King George Hospital in Ilford and Queen’s Hospital in Romford resulted in 79,391 lost working days. The NELFT hospitals lost 73,779 working days across the same period.

The average percentage of staff sickness absences in the north, central and east London region was 3.38pc.

NELFT responded by pointing out they oversaw a 10pc decline in staff sickness during the last year.

“Between April 2015 and March 2016, the level of staff sickness at NELFT declined by nearly 10pc,” a spokesman said.

“The figure for 2015-16 decreased from 4.66pc to 4.24pc and is only 0.09pc higher than the NHS average.

“At NELFT, we support our staff to improve their wellbeing to encourage a healthy workforce.

“We currently have over 1,700 staff members taking part in the Global Corporate Challenge, which encourages employees to become more physically active.”

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of BHRUT, said he was pleased with the figures and noted that they are an improvement from its absence rate of 4.12pc the previous year.

“I’m really pleased we’ve reduced our sickness absence rate, and that we’re well below the national average of 4.37pc,” he said.

“We’ve worked extremely hard over the last year to reduce sickness, including focusing on the overall wellbeing of our staff.”

BHRUT employs 6,500 staff and volunteers and provides health services for 750,000 people across the three boroughs. It also offers some services from Barking Hospital.

NELFT employs 6,000 staff and offers treatment and care for roughly 2.5 million people across east London and Essex.

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