Mental Health is a Big Issue for Absence Management
NHS reveals that one third of ‘sick notes’ are for psychiatric issues
A new report from the NHS highlights that mental health related issues are the biggest cause for workplace absences.
For the very first time, the NHS has collated and analysed over 12 million fit notes (previously called ‘sick notes’) issued by GP practices across England during a period of almost two and half years. The results show a very large bias towards notes involving mental health issues.
The NHS Digital report also shows that notes related to anxiety and stress are on the rise, with a 14% increase in 2016-17 compared to 2015-16.
The report highlights that sick notes for psychiatric problems are issued for longer periods of time than any other kind of illness. Over 20% of sick notes for mental health issues were for more than 12 weeks, compared to only 3% of notes for respiratory diseases.
As a result of these figures, the NHS is putting increased focus on mental health, described by Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, as ‘the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses’.
Absence Management Software will allow you to monitor the amount of sickness leave taken by your staff, and calculate absence KPIs, such as the Bradford Factor. This can help to identify sickness patterns linked to causes such as stress before they turn into long term issues. However, identifying the number and patterns of absences is only the first step of ensuring employee wellness. This data needs to be considered as part of your larger wellness strategy so that staff can be put on the correct support path.
Considering the current state of wellbeing in the UK workplace, taking steps to ensure the wellbeing of your staff is definitely worthwhile, providing benefits to both employee engagement and productivity throughout your organisation.
If you would like more information or a free demonstration to see how our Absence Management System can help your organisation, please contact us.