Hospital waiting ‘a main causes of work absence’

Health service pressures are having a knock-on effect
Health service pressures are having a knock-on effect

Time spent waiting for medical surgery or tests is one of the main causes of work-related absence, according to a new report released today.

Research suggested that recovery from surgery is also leading to people being off work.

The EEF manufacturers’ organisation and insurance broker Howden said their study found that almost a third of companies do not record long-term sickness absence.

A survey of 165 companies suggested that waiting times for surgery or recovering from operations were increasing.

The Government has been urged to ensure that all firms have access to an occupational health service to tackle work-related sickness absence and other issues.

“It has long been recognised that a healthy workforce is a more productive workforce,” said EEF spokesman Terry Woolmer.

“Investment in the wellbeing of employees by both the employer and Government makes sense, not just for good business practice but also for the benefits to wider society from reduced benefits and pressure on a stretched NHS system,” he added.

“The focus on occupational health needs to regain momentum, however, especially given the upward trend of a number of causes of long term absence.”