Health service absentee rates still rising

Helen Puttick, The Herald, June 27, 2007 NHS staff in Scotland are taking more time off work sick - despite targets to cut absenteeism. Health service phoneline NHS 24 has the highest illness rates, with the average worker off one day in 10 last year. This is against a rate for the entire workforce of one day off sick in 18 and a target of one day in 25. Mary Scanlon, Conservative health spokeswoman, said the data, released yesterday, was a matter of concern. When NHS 24 took on calls to GPs outside surgery hours at the end of 2004, it struggled to cope and patients had to wait hours for nurses to ring them back with advice. However, last year, it appeared to have turned the corner. ... Health