WORKFORCE: Colchester Hospital University FT has seen an increase in temporary staff costs at the start of the year due to sickness absence, according to board papers.

The trust’s finance and commissioning report said: “Pay spend was £0.2m overspent in January mostly due to an increase in temporary staff costs (£133,000) linking to sickness in December and January.

“Sickness absence is being looked into at the monthly performance meetings and a number of support options are being looked into including telephone support and the Health and Wellbeing Department getting more involved in overseeing the return to work process.”

It said that temporary pay costs at the trust were £8.9m for the year to he end of January, “which is 7.8 per cent of the total pay bill costs”.

At the end of January the trust had collected a £1.7m surplus.