|Could where you work affect your health?|
|Thursday, 17 February 2011 00:00|
A report by the Audit Commission has suggested that NHS staff working in deprived areas take more time off sick than their colleagues in more affluent regions. The figures looked at data collected between July 2009 and June 2010 and found that junior staff were more likely to take time off due to illness than senior colleagues. It also concluded that healthcare assistants had the highest average absenteeism rate. So could where you work have a direct affect on your own health?
There are wide variations in the figures of sickness absenteeism from around the country, ranging from 1.6% to 6.8%, but overall the report concluded that the North East had the highest average sickness rate and London had the lowest.
This is a previously unconsidered aspect to ponder for people looking for jobs in the NHS. The level of deprivation and staff pay grades accounts for 61% of the variation in hospital trust sickness absenteeism. Experts are not sure why this should have such an influence on the figures, but the general consensus is that "morale and the ability to control one's work" could be a factor amongst lower paid workers.
So is morale and control over the working environment such a defining factor in the health of NHS workers? According to Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal Collage of Nursing, the answer is yes, and he's worried that it could have a knock-on effect on the quality of patient care. "We need a step change in the way the NHS manages staff health and wellbeing. With over 10 million working days lost each year and staff working when they are not well enough, the quality of patient care will inevitably suffer."
So perhaps when you're looking for that great job in the NHS, examining how working in a particular region may affect your own health should be added to the list of considerations, along with job security and remuneration.
|Last Updated on Monday, 28 February 2011 13:31|