WORKFORCE: Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust had a sickness absence rate for December 2011 of 4.26 per cent, up from 4.14 per cent in November.

“The increase is partly due to seasonal illness e.g. colds and flu,” a performance report said.

Reducing sickness absence rates is one of the trust’s staffing priorities, which form part of its business objectives for 2011-12.

The report added: “The focus continues to be on locations and services that have seen the greatest increases in sickness absence rates. Reasons for sickness absence are also being monitored.”