York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust employs over 6000 staff and provides acute services for approximately 350,000 people living in and around York as well a range of specialist services for around 500,000 people in North Yorkshire.
Staff absence is a major issue for many NHS Trusts. The Boorman report states that a cost of a day’s absence to the NHS is £163. In 2008, York Hospitals had an annual absence rate of 4.52%. Managers were negative and lacking confidence and skills in how to deal with absence. In order to address this they developed an initiative which included:
For the training element, the Trust engaged Steps to design and deliver half-day sessions with managers. It was essential that the training was engaging and interactive, in order for it to succeed in developing manager confidence and skills in managing absence. Jennifer Gardner, HR Manager at the Trust, wanted real practical examples which acknowledged the pressures that managers face and the impact of absence on all stakeholders. Drama was the ideal way to do this.
We also developed an in-depth understanding of the Trust’s revised policies and absence management procedures.
We developed and led half-day sessions which included:
Annual absence has reduced from 4.52% to 3.13%. This may not seem much, but it represents a reduction from 52,717 days per annum, to around 36,000 days – equivalent to saving of £2.71m per annum and a saving of approximately £5.58m over the last 3 years.
The Trust continue to work with Steps – with plans to create an additional programme for new managers, implement targeted training for ‘hot spot’ areas/departments and develop a further roll out to other hospitals in the region.