WORKFORCE: Alder Hey lost 5,496 work days in November due to staff illness, the highest monthly rate of sickness abscence for the foundation in 12 months.

Nearly half of the work time lost in that month - 47 per cent - was attributed to long term abscences of 28 days or more continuous absence within the current month.

The leading reason given for sickness abscence was stress or anxiety, followed by musculo-skeletal and other joint or lower limb problems, and then surgery.

The trust performance report said that the increase in sickness levels had pushed the overall proportion of workers reporting absence through sickness to 6.17 per cent, against a target of 4 per cent.

It added: “The nursing absence rate also sees an increase this month, up a further 0.15 per cent. This takes the overall rate 2.22 per cent over target.”

It said the highest rate of abscence was in the foundation’s business support division, followed by surgery/ortho/theatres.