WORKFORCE: The foundation lost £580,156 to sick days in December as its sickness abscence rate rose to 7 per cent.

The spike meant that the trust lost an extra £95,286 in December compared with the previous month.

The abscence rate was exactly the same as that experienced by the trust in December 2009. But lower rates of sickness abscence in Lancashire Care throughout 2010/11 meant that the year-to-date rate held at 5.82 per cent, compared with 6.62 per cent at the end of the previous year.

The trust has a target sickness abscence rate of 5 per cent.

Its January workforce report also noted that while sickness abscence rose between November and December 2010 (from 5.8 per cent to 7 per cent) its spending on bank and agency staff fell from £1,068,205 to £1,005,076.