NHS trusts in England may be able to ringfence income from services they provide to commissioners to pay for workplace physiotherapy and other physical and mental health services for staff.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said that the NHS needs to offer its 1.3 million staff better support for health and wellbeing
But according to an NHS England spokesperson, trusts could use up to a total of £450 million in the next financial year, not the £600 million originally announced in error by the organisation.
The money could be drawn from the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) payment framework, which links a proportion of healthcare providers' income to local quality improvement goals.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: ‘As the largest employer in Europe, the NHS needs to practice what it preaches by offering better support for the health and wellbeing of our own 1.3 million staff.
‘A good place to start is by tackling the sources of staff sickness absence including mental health and musculoskeletal injuries.
‘If we can do this well, we hope that more parts of the public and private sector will see the sense of it and also take the plunge.’
Public Health England estimates that NHS staff sickness costs the health service about £2.4 billion a year, the equivalent to £1 in every £40 of the total budget.
NHS England declined to comment on whether the need for enhanced physiotherapy services for health service staff indicated that standard NHS care was failing.
However, CSP professional adviser Jenny Nissler said: ‘Resources invested effectively in the health and wellbeing of NHS employees as part of a quality framework is likely to be good news – both for NHS staff and service users.’
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