WORKFORCE: Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust had an above average sickness absence rate for the first three months of 2013 across mental health providers in the South East Coast region.

The trust had a 4.80 per cent average sickness absence rate from January to March, according to analysis by HSJ of Health and Social Care Information Centre data published on 23 July.

Broken down this was 5.19 per cent in January, 4.41 per cent in February and 4.81 per cent in March.

The mean average across the region’s three mental health providers during the period was 4.58 per cent.

Kent and Medway had a worse rate than Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which achieved 3.84 per cent, but a better one than Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which had sickness absence of 5.12 per cent.

The worst average rate for acutes in the region was 4.73 per cent at East Sussex Healthcare Trust and the best was 2.69 per cent at Frimley Park Hospital Foundation Trust.