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TUC13: CSP wants better occupational health care for NHS staff

10 September 2013 - 12:27pm

Sickness absence costs the UK some £15 billion a year in lost economic output – and urgent action is needed to safeguard the health and safety of all UK workers.

ctowson

Cliff Towson: 'The NHS is still failing to consistently protect the wellbeing of its staff.' Photo: Jess Hurd

This was the message from Cliff Towson, convenor of the CSP Disabled Members Network, at a meeting on Monday.

Speaking on a motion about NHS staff health and wellbeing, Mr Towson referred to the 2011 Frost-Black report on health at work and the earlier 2009 report on NHS staff sickness.

'Four years on and the NHS is still failing to consistently protect the wellbeing of its staff,' he said.

He referred to a CSP survey of trusts in England that showed more than a third of trusts did not have a health and wellbeing strategy, and they had seen a 14 per cent increase in sick pay over the last three years, compared to four per cent in trusts that did have one.

'The combined amount spent on sick pay by the 90 trusts that responded exceeded £1 billion over the past three years, at a time when the NHS is being asked to save £20 billion by 2015,’ said Mr Towson.

'This cannot be right.'

All employers should take steps to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of staff, he said, as outlined by Dr Steve Boorman and Dame Carol Black.

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