Intended for healthcare professionals

Careers Data chart

Sickness absence rates across the NHS

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 25 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2210

Re: Sickness absence rates across the NHS

The ‘Sickness absence rates across the NHS’ article states that doctors have a lower sickness rate than other NHS workers: 1.3% compared with 4.5% for nurses and 5.5% for ambulance workers. I cannot help but wonder whether at least part of this difference is due to under reporting. I think we, as doctors, are often guilty of only reporting our sickness absence to our consultant or team, rather than following the correct procedure and informing HR. I therefore suspect that many of these sick leave days are not formally registered, and so the figures from the Office for National Statistics may not be a true reflection of doctors’ absences due to illness.

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 June 2018
Emma L Cox
FY2 Doctor