WORKFORCE: Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust has sought advice from Royal Mail and the fire service as it bids to slash its sickness rates.

The trust’s board papers for May listed several actions that have been taken to address its absence rate, which has increased to 5.3 per cent during 2014-15, against a target of 4.5 per cent.

The papers said: “Contacts [have been] made with non-NHS organisations to consider other approaches to absence management including a visit to the fire service and a telephone discussion with Royal Mail.”

A review of the trust’s absence management will also be conducted in 2015-16.

However, a trust spokesman said the exercise was conducted mainly to benchmark the trust against other organisations, and there were no new ideas or initiatives as a result.