Monday, June 27, 2005

Nursing the nurses

Nursing staff took an average of 16.8 days off work each last year due to sickness. Even amongst public sector workers, that's a lot, other public sector groups were sick for 'only' 11.3 days on average. Naturally, unions blame it on stress and low pay, I suspect it's more likely to be management's inability to manage nursing staff effectively.

The Royal Mail recently solved a similar sickness problem by introducing a lottery scheme to improve attendance, should the NHS consider a similar scheme? Unfortunately, it's quite likely that nurses recognise that their employers are in a weaker position than the Royal Mail. Requiring years of training and with demand outstripping supply, employers are loathe to sack nurses who abuse the system as they are so difficult to replace. Sick leave has become an unofficial perk of the job.

I always understood that nurses' exposure to disease and illness in hospitals strengthened their immune systems rather than weakened them!!

No comments: