Reducing sickness absence in the NHS using ... - NHS Employers

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April 2014

reducing sickness absence in the NHS using evidence-based strategies Summary report

april 2014

summary report

Contents Acknowledgements

2

Executive summary

3

Introduction

5

Project methodology

6

The findings – good practice

8

High impact change 1 - Developing local evidence based improvement plans

8

High impact change 2 – Strong, visible leadership

10

High impact change 3 – Improved management capacity

11

High impact change 4 – Access to local, high quality accredited occupational health services

12

High impact change 5 – Encouragement and enablement of staff to take personal responsibility

13

The findings – themes, trends and challenges

14

High impact change 1 – Developing local evidence based improvement plans

14

High impact change 2 – Strong, visible leadership

16

High impact change 3 – Improved management capability

19

High impact change 4 – Access to local, high-quality accredited occupational health services

20

High impact change 5 – Encouragement and enablement of staff to take personal responsibility

21

Conclusions

22

Next steps

23

Appendix 1

24

Appendix 2

28

Appendix 3

29

Appendix 4

30

Appendix 5

31

Acknowledgements This report has been co-authored by the trust support team which includes: –– Val Rhodes, Project Manager –– Beth Dodson – Senior Trust Support Officer, NHS Employers –– Carol Hunt – Senior Trust Support Officer, NHS Employers –– Victoria Small – Senior Trust Support Officer, NHS Employers (Sept 2012–July 2013) –– Christine Budd – Senior Trust Support Officer, NHS Employers (July–Oct 2013) The team wish to acknowledge the involvement of Chris Young (NHS Employers) who created the initial assessment template and user guide prior to the team commencing work in September 2012.

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April 2014 Reducing sickness absence in the NHS using evidence-based strategies

Executive summary The Department of Health (DH) commissioned a project to reduce sickness absence levels and improve staff health and wellbeing in 102 NHS trusts. The project, known as the Trust Support Project, worked with a cross-section of NHS organisations, including acute, mental health, specialist and ambulance services. The project was part of a series of actions to support NHS organisations achieve the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) target for reducing sickness absence. The Department of Health’s five high impact changes were used by the project team to assess the current practice of each trust, develop a feedback report to identify areas of strength and development and produce an individual improvement action plan based on local evidence. A significant amount of good, innovative practice was identified, including: –– the identification of health needs of staff –– performance dashboards linking workforce and patient safety data –– effective use of the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) and e-rostering self-service system with close to real-time reporting –– planning and communicating of initiatives to coincide with national public health campaigns.

Some trusts demonstrated that health and wellbeing was an integral part of delivering trust services, with board members acting as champions or becoming personally involved in health and wellbeing activities. The team also found examples where managerial capacity to take full ownership of sickness absence and staff health and wellbeing was expected and supported, including within