273 Royal Bolton Hospital staff off sick in one month

The Bolton News: The Royal Bolton Hospital The Royal Bolton Hospital

AN ACTION plan has been launched to stop the rising number of staff calling in sick at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

Anxiety, stress and depression are the biggest cause of absence with nursing, midwifery administrative and clerical staff having a worse than average sickness rates.

Bosses at the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust are rewriting the existing five sickness policies to form one policy for all staff working at the Royal Bolton and community services.

The average rate of sickness across all trusts in the North West is 4.37 per cent.

Bolton’s rate of sickness has risen from 4.56 to 5.33 per cent during the last financial year.

In March, this equated to about 273 out of the trust’s 5,160 employees.

Suzanne Woolridge, acting director of workforce at the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said “organisational change” could be one of the causes of stress and anxiety.

Ms Woolridge added: “Our main aim is to reduce the absence situation and the number of people off sick.

“We have done some proactive work to look at the reasons for both short-term and long-term sickness.

“We were keen to have one policy for all of the workforce rather than five different ones.

“We have not got the worse rates in Greater Manchester, but we are very focussed on reducing absence rates.

“There has been an increase in absence rates over the last 12 months. That might be because we have had a difficult year and there’s obviously some consequences of that.”

Long-term absence — more than 28 days off work — is worse than short-term at the trust.

The trust has launched a number of interventions to tackle the problem, such as improving the management of sickness and a new support service for staff. This includes a mental health nurse and a a physiotherapist.

In a staff survey, a low number of employees said they would recommend the trust as a place to work or receive treatment.

Staff also ranked the trust poorly in work pressure and the percentage of staff suffering work related stress.

Trust bosses have admitted more needs to be done to support staff.

Chairman David Wakefield said: “If someone asked me to tell them what had been done to help our staff in the past year, I wouldn’t be able to say one thing.”

‘Job insecurity is taking toll’

JOB insecurity, increased workload and changes in shift patterns are behind the increasing numbers of staff suffering from stress, union chiefs have said.

Linda Miller, assistant secretary at Bolton Health Unison, said the squeeze on pay was also having an impact on the wellbeing of staff.

Ms Miller said: “There are quite a number of staff suffering from work-related stress.

“We have been under consultation since November, 2012. This means job cuts and departmental and organisational changes.”

She said there was uncertainty over jobs and staff didn’t know whether they would still have a job after the next stage in consultation.

She continued: “Changes in work pattern also has an impact. Some staff have changed from the eight hour shift to 12 hours. And then there’s the increased workload.

“People are working longer hours — especially if more people are on sick leave and there’s no agency staff to fill in.

“The problem with pay is also upsetting staff. Staff would feel like they are being rewarded properly if everyone was given a one per cent increase rather than the top banding of staff.”

The Government’s squeeze on NHS pay in March sparked anger among unions across the country.

Ministers announced a basic one per cent pay rise, but the 600,000 nurses and other staff receiving automatic “progression-in-job” increases, “typically worth more than three per cent”, will not get the one per cent as well.

Comments (16)

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10:37am Tue 29 Apr 14

lancashiregirl says...

Simple don't pay them if they make a habit of ringing in sick, they will soon stop
Simple don't pay them if they make a habit of ringing in sick, they will soon stop lancashiregirl
  • Score: 7

10:49am Tue 29 Apr 14

Dr Doo Little says...

Typical
Excuses
Over sensitive
Rude
No can do attitude
Always crying out for something
Self service soon - vending machines...
Or The Invasion of the robots.
Get rid - employ an Eastern European
Get rid off benefits.
A DISGRACE
Typical Excuses Over sensitive Rude No can do attitude Always crying out for something Self service soon - vending machines... Or The Invasion of the robots. Get rid - employ an Eastern European Get rid off benefits. A DISGRACE Dr Doo Little
  • Score: -14

11:04am Tue 29 Apr 14

thomas222 says...

What do they expect when people are on work or play contracts. Think that may be the problem instead of spin as to why they think its happening.
What do they expect when people are on work or play contracts. Think that may be the problem instead of spin as to why they think its happening. thomas222
  • Score: 0

11:41am Tue 29 Apr 14

kimnorthwest says...

This is why I've had three appointments cancelled, ridiculous
This is why I've had three appointments cancelled, ridiculous kimnorthwest
  • Score: -1

12:02pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Thatissowrong says...

I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance.
I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance. Thatissowrong
  • Score: -6

12:11pm Tue 29 Apr 14

bwfc0210 says...

Thatissowrong wrote:
I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance.
Let's tar all public sector workers with the same brush. I suggest you get some new friends. I know probably more public sector workers than you and never have they treated sick as an entitlement.
[quote][p][bold]Thatissowrong[/bold] wrote: I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance.[/p][/quote]Let's tar all public sector workers with the same brush. I suggest you get some new friends. I know probably more public sector workers than you and never have they treated sick as an entitlement. bwfc0210
  • Score: 14

1:10pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Citizen Cane says...

There is no reliable clinical definition of stress, nor absolutely reliable way to diagnose it. If you go to a doctor and say that you have stress, you wil get a sick note.

One of the best ways to cure it is to pay statutory sick pay only. This remarkably effective remedy is proven in clinical trials to make absence levels plummet.

Why doesn't RBH try it?
There is no reliable clinical definition of stress, nor absolutely reliable way to diagnose it. If you go to a doctor and say that you have stress, you wil get a sick note. One of the best ways to cure it is to pay statutory sick pay only. This remarkably effective remedy is proven in clinical trials to make absence levels plummet. Why doesn't RBH try it? Citizen Cane
  • Score: 5

3:12pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Thatissowrong says...

bwfc0210 wrote:
Thatissowrong wrote:
I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance.
Let's tar all public sector workers with the same brush. I suggest you get some new friends. I know probably more public sector workers than you and never have they treated sick as an entitlement.
How do you know you know more public sector workers than me?
Perhaps my friends from the public sector are more open with me than yours are with you.
Either way I don't care - I report only what they tell me.
[quote][p][bold]bwfc0210[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thatissowrong[/bold] wrote: I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance.[/p][/quote]Let's tar all public sector workers with the same brush. I suggest you get some new friends. I know probably more public sector workers than you and never have they treated sick as an entitlement.[/p][/quote]How do you know you know more public sector workers than me? Perhaps my friends from the public sector are more open with me than yours are with you. Either way I don't care - I report only what they tell me. Thatissowrong
  • Score: -5

4:35pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Best an says...

You all want to try working there then you might change your minds You haven't a clue.!
You all want to try working there then you might change your minds You haven't a clue.! Best an
  • Score: 6

5:41pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Thatissowrong says...

Best an wrote:
You all want to try working there then you might change your minds You haven't a clue.!
I've been a patient there as has my wife. A nightmare.
[quote][p][bold]Best an[/bold] wrote: You all want to try working there then you might change your minds You haven't a clue.![/p][/quote]I've been a patient there as has my wife. A nightmare. Thatissowrong
  • Score: 2

6:09pm Tue 29 Apr 14

steveG says...

This is now the accepted culture in public sector jobs.The benefits are beyond generous and there is a greed, now prevalent, which has transcended what was once a public service.

Very sad,but public service as we had come to accept it twenty years ago,is a relic of the past.
This is now the accepted culture in public sector jobs.The benefits are beyond generous and there is a greed, now prevalent, which has transcended what was once a public service. Very sad,but public service as we had come to accept it twenty years ago,is a relic of the past. steveG
  • Score: 3

6:20pm Tue 29 Apr 14

atlas123 says...

Instead of allowing sick days for Stress they should provide coping strategies and out of hours (own time) counseling for those alleged to be affected.
Instead of allowing sick days for Stress they should provide coping strategies and out of hours (own time) counseling for those alleged to be affected. atlas123
  • Score: 5

7:22pm Tue 29 Apr 14

bwfc0210 says...

Thatissowrong wrote:
bwfc0210 wrote:
Thatissowrong wrote:
I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance.
Let's tar all public sector workers with the same brush. I suggest you get some new friends. I know probably more public sector workers than you and never have they treated sick as an entitlement.
How do you know you know more public sector workers than me?
Perhaps my friends from the public sector are more open with me than yours are with you.
Either way I don't care - I report only what they tell me.
Have a good guess why I know more than you, see if you get it right?
[quote][p][bold]Thatissowrong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bwfc0210[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thatissowrong[/bold] wrote: I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance.[/p][/quote]Let's tar all public sector workers with the same brush. I suggest you get some new friends. I know probably more public sector workers than you and never have they treated sick as an entitlement.[/p][/quote]How do you know you know more public sector workers than me? Perhaps my friends from the public sector are more open with me than yours are with you. Either way I don't care - I report only what they tell me.[/p][/quote]Have a good guess why I know more than you, see if you get it right? bwfc0210
  • Score: -3

7:27pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Thatissowrong says...

bwfc0210 wrote:
Thatissowrong wrote:
bwfc0210 wrote:
Thatissowrong wrote:
I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance.
Let's tar all public sector workers with the same brush. I suggest you get some new friends. I know probably more public sector workers than you and never have they treated sick as an entitlement.
How do you know you know more public sector workers than me?
Perhaps my friends from the public sector are more open with me than yours are with you.
Either way I don't care - I report only what they tell me.
Have a good guess why I know more than you, see if you get it right?
Got better things to do.
[quote][p][bold]bwfc0210[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thatissowrong[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bwfc0210[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Thatissowrong[/bold] wrote: I have friends who work in the public sector. It's common practice to actually book sick leave - their words. They see sick pay without sickness as an annual entitlement to their already generous holiday allowance.[/p][/quote]Let's tar all public sector workers with the same brush. I suggest you get some new friends. I know probably more public sector workers than you and never have they treated sick as an entitlement.[/p][/quote]How do you know you know more public sector workers than me? Perhaps my friends from the public sector are more open with me than yours are with you. Either way I don't care - I report only what they tell me.[/p][/quote]Have a good guess why I know more than you, see if you get it right?[/p][/quote]Got better things to do. Thatissowrong
  • Score: 2

8:05pm Tue 29 Apr 14

bwfc0210 says...

Thatissowrong, "got better things to do" yet you reply inside 5 minutes!
What about short term sickness for diarrhoea and vomiting when staff are told to stay away until clear and which has been caught at work? What about understaffed wards or staff (agency) who really aren't much help because they don't know the patients or where things are etc and so the nurses who are on, are pulled from pillar to post? Staffing levels are a disgrace.
Thatissowrong, "got better things to do" yet you reply inside 5 minutes! What about short term sickness for diarrhoea and vomiting when staff are told to stay away until clear and which has been caught at work? What about understaffed wards or staff (agency) who really aren't much help because they don't know the patients or where things are etc and so the nurses who are on, are pulled from pillar to post? Staffing levels are a disgrace. bwfc0210
  • Score: 5

10:33pm Tue 29 Apr 14

RH1234 says...

As someone who works at Bolton hospital I don't believe anyone has the right to comment unless they have experienced the high levels of stress, the demanding work load, the staffing shortage, the change in shift patterns and the lack of support from higher management. It is no surprise to hear David Wakefield say that he does not know how they have supported their staff in the last year, perhaps he should spend more time at the coalface and see how staff are dealing with the situation rather than listen to middle management.
As someone who works at Bolton hospital I don't believe anyone has the right to comment unless they have experienced the high levels of stress, the demanding work load, the staffing shortage, the change in shift patterns and the lack of support from higher management. It is no surprise to hear David Wakefield say that he does not know how they have supported their staff in the last year, perhaps he should spend more time at the coalface and see how staff are dealing with the situation rather than listen to middle management. RH1234
  • Score: 9

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