WORKFORCE: Sickness and absence rates among forensic services staff at Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust are at their highest levels for 18 months.

They have risen from 7 per cent in October 2011 up to 7.6% in November 2011, the most recently published performance report states.

It says: “This is the highest level of monthly sickness and absence for over 18 months, marking a period of steadily worsening performance against the 5 per cent target.”

The Division has been in a red-rated position - above 7 per cent - for the last three months.

In the same three months for 2010, the rate of sickness and absence remained below 7 per cent.

In addition, mandatory training for staff working in offender healthcare “remains well below target”, although this has increased from 24 per cent in October 2011 to 33 per cent for November 2011. The divisional average is 86 per cent.

In recognition of the difficulties staff have experienced in accessing both essential and mandatory training, a training coordinator has been appointed.