WORKFORCE: Increased sickness absence rates for the commissioning arm of NHS Derby City could be related to the NHS reforms, according to board papers.

The current sickness absence rate for the commissioning arm is 3.49 per cent, a slight increase over the past 12 months, however still below the average for East    Midlands, which is 4.32 per cent.

There is an acknowledgement that the increase in sickness absence maybe in response to the significant organisational changes the PCT is currently experiencing, board papers said.

The PCT’s Management of Change programme, which commenced in January this year, has included a number of workshops for managers and staff on handling change.

Board papers stated: “Currently sessions are being arranged which have will have a greater focus on providing techniques to maintain physical and mental wellbeing as the organisation moves through these challenging times and assists individuals to build resilience.”