WORKFORCE: The trust reported a rolling average sickness rate of 4.74 per cent of its workforce in October, against a target of 3.78 per cent, its latest performance report shows.

The report said that stress was the main reason staff were absent from work in October, accounting for 28.99 per cent of all recorded absence, or 1,276 work days lost to the trust.

Back problems accounted for 11.24 per cent of all recorded absence, or 494 days lost, an increase in days lost of 152 compared with September 2012.

The report gives a detailed list of actions being taken to address sickness absence, including the scheduling of “targeted resilience training” within divisions, quarterly staff surveys to monitor staff engagement, and targeted sickness absence reviews within services.