WORKFORCE: Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust is to audit its sickness absence process after it missed targets for the percentage of staff off sick.

A sample of services will be audited on a quarterly basis to ensure the trust’s sickness absence policy is being complied with.

A report to the board showed the sickness rate in April was 5.38 per cent, against a target of 4 per cent.

Part of April’s figures was attributable to a sudden increase in sickness rates among prison healthcare staff, where the numbers of staff have increased as some joined the trust under TUPE procedures.

Overall, the trust has seen a steady decline from a high of over 7 per cent in the autumn.