Ambulance service has highest sickness rates in the country

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SICKNESS absence rates at the ambulance service which covers the Daventry area are among the worst in the NHS.

Figures from the East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) show that in September more than seven per cent of staff were off sick.

The service said the main factors were injuries caused by lifting patients and stress.

Phil Milligan, EMAS chief executive, said: “We are conscious that we have a higher than usual sickness rate and some reasons for that include musculo-skeletal injuries or stress due to the nature of the calls we respond to.”

The ambulance service has a sickness rate target of five per cent, but has not achieved that for the past three years.

The trust is also spending £80 million on new ambulances and equipment capable of dealing with heavier and obese patients.

The trust said investing in 80 ambulances with larger stretchers, ramps, hoists and specialist chairs for patients weighing up to 50 stone would cut delays and improve care.