Ambulance crews top for sickness

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 May 2011




ambulance workers covering Weston and Worle were off sick more than staff at any other NHS trust in the South West during December.

Figures released this week show staff at Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) failed to turn up to work because of illness an average of 2.5 days over the festive month.

The figure, described as ‘disappointing’ by bosses, ranks the service top for staff sickness over the South West’s 40 other NHS trusts and fifth in the country.

The trust’s sickness rate – 7.61 per cent – is calculated by dividing the total number of days sick by the number of days staff were set to work.

The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust chalked up 5.49 per cent, North Somerset NHS recorded 5.57 per cent and Weston Area Health Trust’s rate was 4.42 per cent.

A spokesman for the GWAS said the cold weather and high number of sick patients during the month had contributed to the high sickness level.

The month also saw the start of a dispute between staff and bosses over a change to working hours - still to be resolved some five months on.

The spokesman said: “During December, the trust did experience a significant rise in its sickness absence rates due to a number of challenges.

“The winter is a notoriously busy time for the ambulance service and last winter was no exception.

“It was one of the coldest winters on record with extremely difficult snow and ice conditions.

“This resulted in the trust dealing with a lot more very poorly patients during this period than on previous years and also contributed to higher levels of staff sickness.

“The trust takes the health and wellbeing of its staff very seriously and is continually working alongside staff to ensure they are happy and healthy at work.”

The spokesman highlighted that the average sickness rate for the 2010/11 financial year was 5.72 per cent.

He also said ambulance services generally had higher rates due to the nature of work carried out by frontline staff.

In the past year, GWAS – which employs 1,680 people - claims to have established a staff welfare group and investigated how to make the organisation a better place to work.

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 19:41

Police have cordoned off Worle Railway Station for an ongoing police incident this evening (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 20:00

Fans of Abba and Grease can enjoy two hours of their greatest hits at The Playhouse on November 29.

Read more
The Playhouse Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 16:57

Life satisfaction and happiness levels have dropped in North Somerset in the past year, according to research from the Office for National Statistics.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:06

A ‘spectacular’ firework display will take place on Marine Parade on Saturday.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:14

Avon and Somerset Constabulary has reassured people a teenager did not die in Worle last night (Wednesday) after rumours circulated on social media.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:04

Weston-super-Mare’s first balloon launch and ‘night glow’ which was due to take place on Saturday, has been postponed due to poor weather conditions.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:27

Future bids for fracking to take place across North Somerset should be decided by the authority and not the Government, according to councillors.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:37

A woman has been injured after colliding with a car in Weston this morning (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 08:58

A Priory Community School (PCSA) teacher has been cooking up tasty treats on a national cooking television programme.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:56

An accident involving two cars in Worle has resulted in slow moving traffic this morning (Thursday).

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather



max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists